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Talk talk talk… [update: Gibbs] 24 April 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Divertissements, Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC.
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A common gull [Guardian - British Wildlife Gallery - Niall Benvie - BWPA]

Talk talk talk… wonder what he is saying.

***

Oh… they are so worried.  So so so worried.

A clutch of political and labour leaders in Germany have raised the spectre of civil unrest after the country’s leading institutes forecast a 6pc contraction of gross domestic product this year, a slump reminiscent of 1931 and bad enough to drive unemployment to 4.7m by 2010.

Michael Sommer, leader of the DGB trade union federation, called the latest wave of sackings a “declaration of war” against Germany’s workers. “Social unrest can no longer be ruled out,” he said.

Gesine Swann, presidential candidate for the Social Democrats, said “the mood could turn explosive” over the next three months unless the government takes drastic action.

And of course all the skunks leading the various nations are having the same conversation.  NOT how to help, but how to protect themselves from the people.  And that is Germany, which despite some erosions, has better long term protections in harsh times with rising unemployment than the land of Uncle Sam.  Or St Ob.  Or whoever runs us.

***

From Angry Arab:

I told you so, damn it

““Congressman, the crossings are no longer completely closed. There are many items that are being transported through the crossings. There are, as you know, some items that the Israeli government does not permit to cross,” Clinton responded.

“The best way for us to help the people of Gaza is for Hamas to cease its rocket firing on Israel, to abide by the quartet principles, and the same principles that were adopted by the Arab peace initiative, which I have reiterated several times here today.””

****

Oh they will regularize us all… To BITS.  Regularised and pummeled and boxed up… in bits.

…catch this prescient take from the CPIML (Communist Party India – Marxist Leninist) via SMBIVA

[W]hatever else he does on his new beat, ushering liberal democracy in the land of the jirgas, or the greatly discussed objective of sending the girl child to school, is not the priority that the American people and with them the rest of the world are being made to believe to be the purpose of the assignment.

So what is Holbrooke’s mission?

Pakistani analysts, skeptical of US role in the region since decades, say Holbrooke’s mission may not be different from his contributions in Yugoslavia, a country he helped break into several smaller “manageable” pieces along religious and ethnic lines. By that measure Afghanistan and Pakistan offer a rich haul not to speak of India when its turn comes. …

***

UPDATE, 12:30 pm on the Pacific Ocean

I so do not want Gibbs to go home to the family.  From Politico (must check Tapper!)

BRIEFING — MORE TORTURE: Gibbs says there is a “time-honored principle” that “if you follow legal guidance, that you shouldn’t be prosecuted.”

Pressed further, he shows impatience: “I started out the week saying it, I’ll probably end the week saying it, if people knowingly broke the law,” there could be prosecutions.

Asked again about Emanuel’s comments last Sunday, Gibbs gripes he’s trying “not to take it personally that I have to repeat these answers like seven times.” (3:06 p.m.)

Says the president has seen “some glimmers of hope” but the country has “a long way to go.” Predicts job losses for “many, many months.”

“It’s going to take a while to get the economy growing again,” he says. And it’s over. (3:09 p.m.)

More after the jump…

[...]

Asked about planned release of abuse photos, Gibbs blames the judicial system: “The 2nd Circuit court ruled in December 2008 that the photos has to be released. The previous administration lost a court case on that.” (2:30 p.m.)

On stress tests, Gibbs says the review process has mostly been “run by the regulators.” (2:32 p.m.)

Update on Chrysler: Gibbs says the automaker is six days away from president’s deadline.

“This administration will continue to plan for all contingencies,” Gibbs says, adding that there will be an announcement on the deal next week. (2:34 p.m.)
Tapper asks: Why not appeal photo decision? “I’m not minimizing our role in this. I’m…trying to give you and others the appropriate amount of background.” (2:35 p.m.)

More on torture: back to that line about “reflection, not retribution.” (2:38 p.m.)

Gibbs says the president is not concerned that the release of photos and memos will distract from the agenda. (2:39 p.m.)

Challenged on Obama’s limited track record of bipartisanship, Gibbs says Obama will reach out to members of both parties and highlights last night’s bipartisan cocktail party. He says bipartisanship is a two-way street. (2:43 p.m.)

Gibbs engages in a long colloquy on the purpose of reflection and history — with Helen Thomas. Brushes off suggestion that Obama’s desire not to prosecute torture lawyers reflects a lack of appreciation for history. (2:46 p.m.)

Chip Reid asks if torture issue will just “simmer” while Feinstein’s committee investigates. Gibbs says the committee is an “appropriate” place for investigation to occur.

And what about a commission? “The president will always take under advisement whatever Congress decides.” (2:47 p.m.)

Does the president oppose a commission? “I think the president believes we should look forward and I think the president strongly believes that the investigation that is ongoing in the Intelligence Committee is an appropriate place” for that to occur. (2:52 p.m.)

Re: Obama-Boehner exchange yesterday — what’s the status of the Cheney request? “That request was made on March 31, 2009…The classifications will be determined by a number of people, including the director of central intelligence and the national security adviser.” Could take three weeks. (2:59 p.m.)

On Castro remarks: “The president took actions to pursue our national interests by lifting the embargo,” Gibbs says.  [he did?  -- Mcat]

Gibbs calls it “a bit amusing” that leadership in Cuba seems ” a little less sure of themselves.” (3:00 p.m.)

That last from Gibbs is really laughable.

hmm I just read that Cheney has upped the ante.  He has now asked the WH to release two classified docs.  Stepping up from his application to the National Archives March 31.

Does Gibbs EVER make sense?

****

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Comments»

1. marisacat - 24 April 2009

Oh yes… he’ll cure cancer. Too. When not tending the oceans. Not the first time he has said this.

The article, amazingly! takes a bit of a clear eye’d look at that gibber drool.

catnip - 24 April 2009

I didn’t see anything there about environmental, chemical etc causes. Kind of a waste of time to look for a cure when big business keeps adding new carcinogenic agents to food, consumer products and the environment. One step forward. Two steps back.

The only way Obamalama’s going to “cure” cancer is to take on corporate America. That’s not going to happen.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

He won’t be curing cancer (but then I find his Pied Pipering a particularly disgusting game).

I felt sorry for the woman in the article, but so many people do believe if they eat lettuce (so to speak) they will not get cancer. It just does not work that way… it really does not.

But then I laughed out loud the day Jim Fixx dropped dead. Fit, young (relatively) and actually running.

2. marisacat - 24 April 2009

Obama legal team wants to limit defendants’ rights

By MARK SHERMAN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overrule a 23 year-old decision that stopped police from initiating questions unless a defendant’s lawyer is present, the latest stance that has disappointed civil rights and civil liberties groups.

While President Barack Obama has reversed many policies of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, the defendants’ rights case is another stark example of the White House seeking to limit rather than expand rights.

Since taking office, Obama has drawn criticism for backing the continued imprisonment of enemy combatants in Afghanistan without trial, invoking the “state secrets” privilege to avoid releasing information in lawsuits and limiting the rights of prisoners to test genetic evidence used to convict them.

The case at issue is Michigan v. Jackson, in which the Supreme Court said in 1986 that police may not initiate questioning of a defendant who has a lawyer or has asked for one unless the attorney is present. The decision applies even to defendants who agree to talk to the authorities without their lawyers. …

Look who has entered briefs against rolling it back… and check who raised overturning the protections. Obama listens, with his RIGHT ear.

Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and former FBI Director William Sessions are among 19 one-time judges and prosecutors urging the court to leave the decision in place because it has been incorporated into routine police practice and establishes a rule on interrogations that is easy to follow.

Justice Samuel Alito first raised the prospect of overruling the decision at arguments in January over the rights of Jesse Montejo, the Louisiana death row inmate.

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 April 2009

wow, the suck more and more every day, and I expected them to suck.

catnip - 24 April 2009

because it has been incorporated into routine police practice and establishes a rule on interrogations that is easy to follow.

Not to mention the fact that Law & Order reruns would then become extremely confusing.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

Jeralyn has a post up on the case. And the issue.

3. mattes - 24 April 2009

I do believe Hillary is going rogue. This should be interesting. David Brooks was spieling his lies last night on cRose@ Hamas. But he let slip that the foreign policy people were not all on the same page. I can only hope Ross will be the first to go. Brooks said Obama is not sentimental and will not hesitate to cut people when he thinks they are not doing their job.

catnip - 24 April 2009

Why do you think she’s going rogue? Seems to me she’s on the same foreign policy page as Obamalama.

mattes - 24 April 2009

Time will tell. I’m reading between the lines.

Obama is pushing much harder than any president ever has.

catnip - 24 April 2009

Maybe I’ve misunderstood your point? Where do you see her going rogue?

4. NYCO - 24 April 2009

Uh-oh, I think Krugman needs to be punished

Meanwhile

Meeting with the Democratic leadership on Wednesday night, Mr. Obama said a special inquiry would steal time and energy from his policy agenda, and could mushroom into a wider distraction looking back at the Bush years, people briefed on the discussion said. Mr. Obama, they said, repeated much the same message on Thursday at a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders.

Mem’ries… misty waterboarded mem’ries… just get in the way.

catnip - 24 April 2009

I really should have stayed away from dkos today to prevent my head from exploding over the FP discussion they’re having over there about this. Holy excuses, Batman.

5. marisacat - 24 April 2009

Meet the Press: Jordanian King Abdullah, Press Secretary Gibbs

This Week: Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Roundtable with Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd, Chrystia Freeland, David Sanger, George Will

Face the Nation: McCain

Fox News Sunday: Obama aide Summers, Sens. Bond, Levin

State of the Union: Obama aide Jarrett, White House photographer Souza, Sens. Feinstein, Graham, Lieberman, former Clinton aide Podesta, former Reagan aide Duberstein

catnip - 24 April 2009

That reminds me. I’m out of popcorn.

6. catnip - 24 April 2009

What the fuck is this now? Simulated torture for ratings? Don’t those ego-bloated talking heads have anything better to do with their shows? (rhetorical question) Useless blowhards.

7. marisacat - 24 April 2009

Dahr Jamail:

[M]any Americans who voted for Barack Obama last November continue to believe he will do the right thing in Iraq. The reality is that, unless forced to do so from below, there will be none of the promised “change” in US foreign policy. Those on the receiving end of US policy in the Middle East, Iraq in particular, know this better than most Americans.

In April 2004, when I was in Fallujah during the first major US military assault on that city, I spoke with Maki al-Nazzal, who was managing a small, makeshift emergency clinic. We spoke while dozens of women and children, most shot by US military snipers, were carried into the clinic.

“For all my life, I believed in American democracy,” he told me with an exhausted voice. “For 47 years, I had accepted the illusion of Europe and the United States being good for the world, the carriers of democracy and freedom. Now, I see that it took me 47 years to wake up to the horrible truth. They are not here to bring anything like democracy or freedom.”

Maki, who is now a refugee in Amman, Jordan, continued, “Now I see it has all been lies. The Americans don’t give a damn about democracy or human rights. They are worse than even Saddam.”

I asked him if he minded if I quoted him with his name. “What are they going to do to me that they haven’t already done here,” he replied.

8. marisacat - 24 April 2009

Oh… maybe if the Armenians ask the Jews really really nicely the Jews will toss them a Holocaust bone. No? Right, probably not. Holocaust RE is very valuable. (Ben Smith has the Samantha Powers big promise, other wise known as more hot air, vid)

Poor David, he not only supported, donated he REGISTERED voters for ObRama The Great. Tsk.

[I]t’s an extremely painful issue to Obama’s Armenian supporters. One Armenian-American correspondent who often complains furiously of anti-Obama media bias, David Muradyan, emailed me this afternoon:

Perhaps what stings more is his clever, yet deceitful way to say that his views have “not changed.” And his use of “Mets Yegern.” It’s almost like he wants to appease both sides but can’t because of political pressures. I understand that. But I think his statement is really deplorable. You can’t in one breath say “my views haven’t changed” (e.g., I still consider it Genocide PERSONALLY), but then use the word “atrocity” and not genocide. It really is a dishonest way to talk about the genocide. Either have the balls to call it genocide, or have the balls to not. But weaseling isn’t respected, period.

And this is all coming from one of his most fervent supporters who not only donated, but registered voters and volunteered.

Smith adds that David often communicates to him his anger at what he calls “anti Obama” media reporting.

Tsk.

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 April 2009

Israelis would never do that … the Turks are their favorite Muslims.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

I caught a segment yesterday.. think on World Forum, a Pete Petersen (and similar) funded world focus news program on PBS/KQED that lauded the [current] liberalisation of Turkey. For the wimmens. Why, my goodness they go to cafes. They have a cool drink in a cafe with the mens. And oh my. Their liberal soaps play on TV in Palestine and oh my, there is [good] liberalisation of the Palestinian wimmens due to the Turks.

HEY! ANYBODY HEARD OF ATTATURK? Seen films of Istanbul women or other city women in the TWENTIES and THIRTIES?

Madman in the Marketplace - 24 April 2009

who’s that?

:?:

/dumb American

9. marisacat - 24 April 2009

Jake Tapper on the genocide non issue issue.

No American president is going to call it genocide. And Turkey is EVEN MORE strategic now than it used to be. Apparently we really really want access to their routes out of Iraq, which of course were denied to us going in….. So many bridges for sale… Everybody is selling bridges. To each other.

["W]e’re profoundly disappointed,” Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, told ABC News. “All the more so because his statements on this in his record before he became president nailed it in terms the facts, the practical side and the moral dimension. He repeatedly talked about this during the campaign, and he was really harsh on President Bush, he said it was inexcusable that Bush refused to acknowledge that this was genocide.”

Hamparian says President Obama “finds himself doing exactly the thing he so sharply criticized the Bush administration for, which is being euphemistic and evasive. It’s a bitter thing for Armenian-Americans who really believed him and really worked hard.”

In a July 28, 2006, letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President Obama protested her decision to recall U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John for using the G-word. …snip…

10. marisacat - 24 April 2009

Candy from a baby. Tapper v Gibbs:

Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 4/24/2009

April 24, 2009 3:46 PM

TAPPER: You keep suggesting that the release of these documents and now photographs is because your hand is being forced. You could appeal this to the Supreme Court if you wanted to, so I guess –

GIBBS: Yes — I don’t — I’d — I — I’d — let me make sure that I — I’m careful. I — I’d — this is part of a legal process. The Justice Department, as I said to Ben, decided that — much as they did, and I think, as you heard, I was asked about Secretary Gates’s comments yesterday, and I think it’s important to understand what Secretary Gates — part of what Secretary Gates said, which was, most of this stuff’s going to come out eventually. I don’t mean to imply that the only avenue is this, but I do think it is important for people to understand that there is ongoing litigation that in many ways is the property lines for this issue.

TAPPER: I understand that, but you’re acting as if you guys aren’t actors in this.

GIBBS: No, no, no –

TAPPER: You are releasing information when you could be fighting it.

GIBBS: No, no. I’d — I’m not minimizing our role in this. I’m, Jake, trying to give you and others a — just the appropriate amount of background for all that is entailed in the litigation and these decisions to –

TAPPER: Okay. Well, would the president support releasing this information even if his hands weren’t forced?

GIBBS: Yeah, I — and I told Ben (Feller of AP) I’d check on that.

TAPPER: All right. Well, let me ask you a question about — did the president tell Democratic leaders this week when they — when he met with them, when he talked to them, that he didn’t want there to be any sort of hearing or commission, that he thought that that would be a distraction?

GIBBS: I was not in the meeting with Democratic leaders. I will reiterate what the president has said throughout the week, and that is — and, as I said a second ago, that this should be a moment of reflection but not retribution. And I said this yesterday, that the — you know, the president, through a series of meetings, discussed the idea of setting up a commission and decided that much of what we’ve seen play out over the past few days would dominate any type of commission and decided that wasn’t something that he would propose or call for.

TAPPER: So is he worried with the release of the OLC documents, the release of the photographs and all the attention this is getting not just among us but on Capitol Hill? Is he worried that he has, perhaps, inadvertently — or perhaps forced by courts — created a path where there will be a look back and retribution, and his political agenda could be jeopardized?

GIBBS: I don’t think the president’s worried about that. I think the president took swift action to change our image in the world. The most important thing that the president’s done in — relating to this topic in the last 95 days is to ensure that the techniques that were described in those OLC memos are no longer the policy of this government. I think that tends to get glossed over a bit in all of this back and forth. But no, the president’s not concerned that this is going to distract from a larger agenda. I think the American people are focused on moving forward. And, you know, the president has answered this question on commissions for months now, and his notion of looking forward and not backward has not changed.

– jpt

April 24, 2009 in Today’s Qs for Obama’s WH | Permalink | User Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 April 2009

National group pushes county recorders to defy same-sex marriage ruling

An Arizona-based Christian nonprofit is offering free legal defense to any of Iowa’s 99 county recorders who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal advocacy group founded in 1994 by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and the late Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, sent an e-mail to each of Iowa’s county recorders asking them to tell their staff that they “shall not be required to issue or process a marriage license, or to perform, assist or participate in such procedures, against that individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

The e-mail, which was sent out in conjunction with the Iowa Family Policy Center, says Iowa law protects citizens from being forced to “violate his or her conscience.”

The ADF then offers to “provide free legal review and defense” for any county recorder that adopts a “conscious clause” and is challenged “on the basis of its content.”

“Government employees who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman should not be penalized for abiding by their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Doug Napier.

The e-mail comes on the heals of a petition drive pushed by Republican state Sen. Merlin Bartz asking opponents of same-sex marriage to collect signatures and deliver them to county recorders demanding that they ignore court’s decision and deny marriage licenses to couples of the same gender. Bartz has since had an ethics complaint filed against him saying he is trying to pressure local elected officials to break the law.

Attorney General Tom Miller has repeatedly warned county recorders that they do not have the authority to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, and “recorders do not have discretion or power to ignore the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling,” Miller said.

The court’s ruling goes into effect Monday.

Iowa law says that an elected official can be removed from office for refusal to perform duties of the office or for willful or habitual neglect.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 April 2009

they’re pre-empting it here until 2 am for a fundraising auction, but SIMON JOHNSON & MICHAEL PERINO will be on Moyers this week:

Bill Moyers talks about the economy and Wall Street’s future with Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, and Michael Perino, professor of law at St. John’s University and an advisor to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

PECORA PART II?
Investigating Wall Street? The demand is growing for new Pecora hearings, the 1930s investigation into the causes and effects of the Great Depression. But just who WAS Ferdinand Percora, and what changes did the investigation bring about?

marisacat - 24 April 2009

Gosh our one claim to fame, during the frequent (every few weeks, not kidding) fundraising, one thing they do not move is Moyers. Still runs 10PM Fridays…

They simply REMOVE most of the programming during fundraising. They re-run the fundraising conflabs during the night.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 April 2009

Scahill:

There are not exactly throngs of Democratic Congressmembers beating down the doors of the Justice Department demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special Independent Prosecutor to investigate torture and other crimes. And now it seems that whatever Congress does in the near term won’t even be open to the public. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said this week that he prefers that the Senate Intelligence Committee hold private hearings. The chair of the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has asked the White House not to take any action until this private affair is concluded. She estimates that will take 6-8 months.

“I think it would be very unwise, from my perspective, to start having commissions, boards, tribunals, until we find out what the facts are,” Reid said Wednesday. “I don’t know a better way of getting the facts than through the intelligence committee.” It is hard to imagine other Democrats bucking Reid on this and there is certainly no guarantee that the committee will release an unclassified report when it concludes its private inquiry. While Representative John Conyers says he will hold hearings, that is not the same as the independent criminal investigation this situation warrants.

Then there is the deeply flawed plan coming from the other influential camp in the Democratic leadership. The alternative being offered is not an independent special prosecutor, but rather a more politically palatable counter-proposal for creating a bi-partisan commission. This is a very problematic approach (as I have pointed out) for various reasons, including the possibility of immunity offers and a sidelining of actual prosecutions.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

hmm From Politico’s whiteboard:

ON THE RECORD: Rahm Emanuel sat for an interview with Bloomberg’s Al Hunt — some highlights:

— Emanuel said Obama “has 100 percent confidence in Ben Bernanke.”

— On auto restructuring: “There has to be a sense that everybody has skin in the game because guess what – everybody’s going to have skin in the game to make this viable.”

— On possible torture prosecutions: “Rahm Emanuel is not putting his thumb on the scale. The Department of Justice with the attorney general will make decisions. Know the principles that guide us.” (4:57 p.m.)

Well his thumb is in Israel.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 April 2009

U.S. Cities Increasing Use of Armed Mercenaries to Replace Police

The United States is in the midst of the most radical privatization agenda in its history. We see this in schools, health care, prisons, and certainly with the US military/national security/intelligence apparatus.

There are almost 200,000 “private contractors” in Iraq (more than U.S. soldiers) and President Barack Obama is continuing to use mercenaries there and in Afghanistan and Israel/Palestine. At present, 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget is going to private companies.

This privatization trend is hardly new, but it is accelerating. While events such as the Nisour Square massacre committed in September 2007 by Blackwater operatives in Baghdad show the lethal danger of unleashing mercenary forces on foreign soil, one area with the potential for extreme abuses resulting from this privatization is in domestic law enforcement in the U.S.

Many people may not be aware of this, but since the 1980s, private security guards have outnumbered police officers.

“The more than 1 million contract security officers, and an equal number of guards estimated to work directly for U.S. corporations, dwarf the nearly 700,000 sworn law enforcement officers in the United States,” according to the Washington Post. Some estimate that private security operate inside the U.S. at a 5-to-1 ratio with police.

In New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of the city, private security poured in. Armed operatives from companies like Blackwater, Wackenhut, Intercon and DynCorp spread out in the city. Within two weeks of the hurricane, the number of private security companies registered in Louisiana jumped from 185 to 235.

In New Orleans at the time, I interviewed Israeli commandos from a company called Instinctive Shooting International as they operated an armed checkpoint on Charles Street after having been hired by a wealthy businessman. I also interviewed private guards who bragged of shooting “black gangbangers.”

The abuses by private security guards in New Orleans and elsewhere has not to this day been thoroughly investigated. Moreover, the legality and constitutionality of the deployment of these modern-day Pinkertons needs to be seriously explained to the U.S. public.

Now it seems that some cities think it is a great idea to expand the use of these private forces using taxpayer funds.

15. marisacat - 24 April 2009

Pauvre petit Sully.

Reagan was admant about prosecuting torture, but also prosecuting inhuman treatment that some might claim was not full-on torture. Now go read National Review or The Weekly Standard. And look what has happened to conservatism in America.

I have heard him say, as he turned to greasy mush over Palin (and still, btw), that ”thinking of Reagan” could ”calm me down”.

TOO MUCH TRANSPARENCY, I would say.

be interesting to see how he excuses ObRama from Torture Issues, which Sully has made his almost-as-big-as-Palin issue

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 April 2009

Maher:

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota recently said she fears that Obama will build “reeducation” camps to indoctrinate young people. But Obama hasn’t made any moves toward taking anyone’s guns, and with money as tight as it is, the last thing the president wants to do is run a camp where he has to shelter and feed a bunch of fat, angry white people.

Look, I get it, “real America.” After an eight-year run of controlling the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, this latest election has you feeling like a rejected husband. You’ve come home to find your things out on the front lawn — or at least more things than you usually keep out on the front lawn. You’re not ready to let go, but the country you love is moving on. And now you want to call it a whore and key its car.

That’s what you are, the bitter divorced guy whose country has left him — obsessing over it, haranguing it, blubbering one minute about how much you love it and vowing the next that if you cannot have it, nobody will.

But it’s been almost 100 days, and your country is not coming back to you. She’s found somebody new. And it’s a black guy.

Of course, he’s a black guy who’s gonna help the plantation owners keep pickin’ your pockets, but hey …

17. catnip - 24 April 2009

From Moyers’ show about the financial meltdown:

SIMON JOHNSON: I think President Obama is the key to the whole situation. I voted for him. I believe he has exactly the right instincts in this kind of situation. Hasn’t done it yet, it’s true But I think across other policies, you can see the kind of attitude that you could bring to bear now on finance. I think that the President has to insist on the details being a lot of openness, a lot of– you know, the modern equivalent of the telegraph wires being put in, I suppose, is live blogging. I think what you need is a sensible, responsible process, not a demonization, not a witch hunt. That I think would be unproductive.

That’s the theme over and over again: supporters who wait and wait and wait for him to do the right thing when they know by his actions on other issues that the best he’s capable of is capitulating.

The bursting bubble of Obama’s promise apparently only has a very tiny leak for some people.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

I think that the President has to insist on the details being a lot of openness, a lot of– you know, the modern equivalent of the telegraph wires being put in, I suppose, is live blogging.

Simon hon… we are currently headed to closed hearings with a probably classified report to be issued in 8 – 12 months or so.

Call when you wish you could UN VOTE. When the rose glass is shattered… when you face the words and the acts.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

well I loved how the boychicks closed out with versions of “it may be too late”. LOL do they hear themselves.

BILL MOYERS: Are you scared right now?

SIMON JOHNSON: Yes, I’m scared.

BILL MOYERS: Of what?

SIMON JOHNSON: But in a good way. I’m scared that we’ll stop worrying about this problem, that we’ll move on, that we will– you know, we’re having a moment of relative clarity right now where a lot of people are agreeing. But these things pass. The baseball season is upon us.

I mean, there are many new distractions. We’ll soon be on our summer vacations. These moments pass Bill. And unless they’re taken up in a responsible, diligent manner by the right people and at the very top, then we’ll lose the opportunity to remove the risks for the future.

BILL MOYERS: Are you?

MICHAEL PERINO: I’m not scared yet. I agree, though, that there’s an evanescence to these moments in politics when actual change can happen. And you may be right. We may have already slipped past the time when anything could change.

BILL MOYERS: So what would Ferdinand say?

MICHAEL PERINO: Ferdinand closed that same book that you quoted from with this phrase: he said, laws aren’t a panacea and they’re not self-executing.

BILL MOYERS: Michael Perino and Simon Johnson, thank you very much for this very interesting discussion. I appreciate your being on the Journal.

But don’t worry! They said if we miss the boat here, then we are in as bad trouble as the Europeans. Right! – and ObRama picked up smidges of help for Afghanistan (65 live bodies of ”help”, from what I read). Afghanistan alone may kill us off.

But psst, those European banks are … “TOO BIG TO SAVE”. that’s what one of the boys said. They were congealing by the end.

Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009

poor simon … how can you see the problems more or less clearly then be so blind about the politicians?

18. catnip - 24 April 2009

So much for the mortal threatiness:

The Taleban say they are withdrawing from a Pakistani district where their consolidation of power this week has caused deep concern in the US.

A Taleban spokesman said commander Maulana Fazlullah had issued the order for fighters to pull back from Buner, just 100km (62 miles) from Islamabad.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

oh noes… had you caught the 8 pm update (KGO) they are ready to overrun Islamabad. ANY momentito!

They (someone) does seem very close to parts of Kabul.. but it’s not anything new.

catnip - 24 April 2009

The Pakistani ambassador to the US made the point on Blitzer’s show the other day that the Taleban may be 60 some miles from Islamabad but that’s as the crow flies over a mountainous region. It’s not like they were marching down a straight stretch of road directly into the capital ready to overthrow the gov’t at a moment’s notice. Afaic, Hillary’s fearmongering was just about overruling Pakistan’s sovereignty once again to justify more drone attacks. The ambassador also made the point that the Pakistani military was 1 million men strong. It’s not like they’re completely helpless.

19. catnip - 24 April 2009
marisacat - 24 April 2009

hmm From the link:

Police say the would-be assassins were captained by Eduardo Rozsa Flores, who led an extraordinary life that began and ended in Santa Cruz, a hotbed of Morales opposition. Mr Flores, who was born in the city in 1960 to Hungarian and Spanish parents, grew up in Hungary, where he was a communist youth leader and acted as a translator for Carlos the Jackal. After covering the start of the Yugoslav wars as a journalist, Mr Flores formed an international volunteers’ brigade fighting for Croatian independence. When the war ended in 1995, he turned to writing poetry and political essays, played himself in a film based on his life, swapped Catholicism for Islam and supported causes from Hungarian nationalism to autonomy for Santa Cruz.

“autonomy for Santa Cruz”…if only ti were that simple.

he reminds me of a Jesuit priest who was mentioned in some reports, I think when JPII died. American, handsome in a square jawed way… He had first obtained a law degree, then a medical degree, then a degree in architecture. THEN he turned to the church, to the seminary. Rising fast, spending some years in Rome… as he was valuable to the church. Arrived nearly a prince in some ways, soon to become a prince of the church. I looked a long time at his picture and frankly wondered what intelligence service he was with, might be with… Just a stray thought.

catnip - 24 April 2009

Definitely the stuff of a Tom Clancy novel in both cases.

20. artemis54 - 24 April 2009

Wow. When Bachman brings the crazy, she brings all of it.

“CO2 is natural.” Not to belabor the point, but so is arsenic. Would you like a couple more cups in your soup? Or maybe you you talk to the folks at Lake Nyos about co2. Oh that’s right, you can’t because they are all dead.

This is on top of her Earth Day floor comments demanding submission to Jesus.

This crazy bitch accomplishes the impossible in making Inhofe look reasonable. Get the hook already.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

Well if the hook descends for MB, then get it to do some work. Take Hensarling and Gingrey too. Just as a start.

artemis54 - 24 April 2009

I see Hensarling and Bachmann behind their little picket fence in the Twilight Zone, raising herds of crazy three-eyed babies.

marisacat - 24 April 2009

:lol: prehensile eyes.

21. marisacat - 25 April 2009

hmm they tucked a highly discretionary 350 million (why so little?) for NG to the border. The So border…

[J]oy Olson, executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America, which promotes democracy and human rights in the region, said the request lacks the accountability provisions included in the Merida Initiative, which was passed after more than a year of debate in both countries.

“They may say that this is for the National Guard, but the way it’s written, it is really a blank check for the Defense Department to do whatever it wants on counter-drug issues at the border — and it doesn’t say which side of the border,” Olson said. [Who is she? Who does she think she is? Led by Obama we do not lie. Nor do we torture! --Mcat]

The administration did not seek additional funding under Merida because the new assistance is targeted only on the U.S. side of the border, said an administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan is still being formulated. A second administration official said $250 million is for the deployment of National Guard troops if they are needed, and the remaining $100 million would go to protect unaccompanied minors found crossing the border. [so relieved! it is for charitable in loco parentis owrk! done on the spot! --Mcat]

The funds are to be available until the end of September 2010. The proposal also authorizes the secretary of defense to transfer up to $100 million to other federal agencies.

“We wanted to make sure he [Obama] was in a position that, if the facts on the ground warranted it, that he had resources at his disposal to be able to enhance the capacity on the ground through the use of National Guard troops,” another administration official said.

The contingency plan to deploy National Guard troops appears to mark a shift for Obama. …snip…

What a scam.

And here is soemthing I really had nto thought Obster would do… a favorite Bush gambit against Chirac across three years 2003, 04, 05 of refusing specific French airplanes landing rights in the US…

here we refused a flight entrance into our airspace, a Paris to Mexico flight, diverting it to Martinique. All for a Franco-Colombian journalist. Listed as a terrorist with bin Laden.

Paranoïa in a great power can lead to dangerously stupid actions.

i rather suspect it was not paranoia, it was retribution. The short guy in Paris got bitchy. So what.

22. Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Rockin baby robins by the WH Press Room door. Really!

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009

London cop’s Facebook: “Can’t wait to bash” G20 protestors

The police officer’s profile page on social networking site Facebook contained a message apparently written by Pc Ward at 2017 BST on 1 April.

It stated: “Rob Ward can’t wait to bash some long haired hippys up @ the G20.”

Twenty minutes later another Facebook user posted a reply that said: “Dats bad but good in da same way lol [laugh out loud].”

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009

here we go, the inevitable he’s a good man and shouldn’t be held to task etc:

Five years along in his new life as a federal judge, Bybee gathered the lawyers and their dates for a reunion, telling them he was proud of the legal work they had together produced.

And then, according to two of his guests, Bybee added that he wished he could say the same about his previous position.

It was, in the private room of a public restaurant, the kind of joyless judgment that some friends and associates say the jurist arrived at well before the public release of four additional memos last week and the resulting uproar that has engulfed Washington. One of the documents, dated Aug. 1, 2002, offered a helpfully narrow definition of torture to the CIA and soon became known as the “Bybee memo,” because it bore his signature.

“I’ve heard him express regret at the contents of the memo,” said a fellow legal scholar and longtime friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity while offering remarks that might appear as “piling on.” “I’ve heard him express regret that the memo was misused. I’ve heard him express regret at the lack of context — of the enormous pressure and the enormous time pressure that he was under. And anyone would have regrets simply because of the notoriety.”

That notoriety worsened this week as the documents — detailing the acceptable application of waterboarding, “walling,” sleep deprivation and other procedures the Bush administration called “enhanced interrogation methods” — prompted calls from human rights advocates and other critics for criminal investigations of the government lawyers who generated them.

Of the three former Justice Department lawyers associated with the memos, the public’s attention has focused particularly harshly on Bybee because of his position as a sitting federal judge; John C. Yoo, who largely wrote the Bybee memo, returned to academic life, and Steven G. Bradbury, who signed three memos, resumed private practice at the end of the Bush administration.

marisacat - 25 April 2009

don’t disturb the nice family man. who is on the 9th circuit here in SF Of all places.

We have Condi Yoo and Bybee. California, land of dreams.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009

This is interesting … I think this psychologist is a big Obama supporter, and you can find echoes in this piece in the stuff Obama says. Some context to the political language we’re hearing (like the Lakoff stuff informed understanding Dean):

Conservatives Live in a Different Moral Universe — And Here’s Why It Matters

With all that in mind, Haidt identified five foundational moral impulses. As succinctly defined by Northwestern University’s McAdams, they are:

• Harm/care. It is wrong to hurt people; it is good to relieve suffering.

• Fairness/reciprocity. Justice and fairness are good; people have certain rights that need to be upheld in social interactions.

• In-group loyalty. People should be true to their group and be wary of threats from the outside. Allegiance, loyalty and patriotism are virtues; betrayal is bad.

• Authority/respect. People should respect social hierarchy; social order is necessary for human life.

• Purity/sanctity. The body and certain aspects of life are sacred. Cleanliness and health, as well as their derivatives of chastity and piety, are all good. Pollution, contamination and the associated character traits of lust and greed are all bad.

Haidt’s research reveals that liberals feel strongly about the first two dimensions — preventing harm and ensuring fairness — but often feel little, or even feel negatively, about the other three. Conservatives, on the other hand, are drawn to loyalty, authority and purity, which liberals tend to think of as backward or outdated. People on the right acknowledge the importance of harm prevention and fairness but not with quite the same energy or passion as those on the left.

Libertarian essayist Will Wilkinson of the Cato Institute — one of many self-reflective political thinkers who are intrigued by Haidt’s hypothesis — puts it this way: “While the five foundations are universal, cultures build upon each to varying degrees. Imagine five adjustable slides on a stereo equalizer that can be turned up or down to produce different balances of sound. An equalizer preset like ‘Show Tunes’ will turn down the bass and ‘Hip Hop’ will turn it up, but neither turns it off.

“Similarly, societies modulate the dimension of moral emotions differently, creating a distinctive cultural profile of moral feeling, judgment and justification. If you’re a sharia devotee ready to stone adulterers and slaughter infidels, you have purity and in-group pushed up to 11. PETA members, who vibrate to the pain of other species, have turned in-group way down and harm way up.”

McAdams was first exposed to these ideas about three years ago, when he heard Haidt speak at a conference. Around that same time, he was analyzing information he had compiled from interviews with 150 highly religious middle-aged Americans — men and women from across the political spectrum who had described in detail the ways they find meaning in their lives. Realizing this was an excellent test case for Haidt’s theories, McAdams started comparing the comments of self-described liberals and conservatives.

Sure enough, “Conservatives spoke in moving terms about respecting authority and order,” he found. “Liberals invested just as much emotion in describing their commitment to justice and equality. Liberals feel authority is a minor-league moral issue; for us, the major leaguers are harm and fairness.”

It’s hard to play ball when you can’t agree who deserves to be a big leaguer.

catnip - 25 April 2009

Haidt’s research reveals that liberals feel strongly about the first two dimensions — preventing harm and ensuring fairness — but often feel little, or even feel negatively, about the other three.

True. As I was reading, my cutoff point was after #2.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009
27. NYCO - 25 April 2009

Rather unsettling:

“I work as a resident doctor in one of the biggest hospitals in Mexico City and sadly, the situation is far from “under control”. As a doctor, I realise that the media does not report the truth. Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200. I understand that we must avoid to panic, but telling the truth it might be better now to prevent and avoid more deaths.”

marisacat - 25 April 2009

Lordy:

Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were.

Another thing, I know that a few days ago, the ”deaths” were reported as ”60”… then that was “adjusted” to 20 dead and 40 “victims”… with the idea that 40 lay ill in hospital…

Always interesting to watch media ”adjust”.

NYCO - 25 April 2009

If you want to follow latest developments, try @BreakingNews at Twitter (a somewhat reputable news source; see also @mpoppel, the journalist who runs it).

The WHO is on the verge of declaring a pandemic, but hasn’t done so yet.

NYC health department just had an emergency press conference to address illness of 200 Queens schoolchildren (probable swine flu, but no one has been hospitalized).

A high school in Texas has been closed after 2 cases reported.

And swine flu cases also confirmed in Kansas.

Of course… this sure all makes a handy dandy way for anti-immigrant forces to demonize Mexicans. What a world.

NYCO - 25 April 2009

ruh-roh…

@BreakingNews The White House says President Obama has not shown any flu-like symptoms since his trip to Mexico. A person he met had swine flu.

I forgot he was just in Mexico.

marisacat - 25 April 2009

I caught just a fragment of a report last night.. some tracking of Calderon. That in between out-of-Mexico events, a few days ago, he chose not to return to Mexico, there have been so many multi country events that I forget which two.

marisacat - 25 April 2009

CA is supposed to have confirmed cases as well. oUr news last night mentioned both CA and Tejas…

28. Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

# Plane diverted to Boston after man rushes cockpit Sat Apr 25 12:11pm EDT

A Delta Air Lines flight from New York to Tel Aviv, Israel, has been diverted to Boston after an unruly passenger rushed the cockpit. Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, says the 22-year-old Israeli man ran toward the cockpit and pounded on the door.

It’ll be interesting to see how much follow-up attention that story will get.

In other news, this blurb just cracked me up:

# Trial set for alleged TV smasher 22 minutes ago

Saturday, April 25 PITTSFIELD — A 26-year-old Pittsfield man accused of smashing 16 television sets with a baseball bat at Walmart on Thursday was found to be mentally competent on Friday following a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

29. NYCO - 25 April 2009

U of GA professor sought for 3 off-campus murders.

I looked him up on RateMyProfessor.com. Some excerpts from past years:

Witty guy, some information useful. But he demonstrated himself to be cold hearted and just plain nasty when I needed help. Stay away from this man.

He’s hilarious, all right. Just read those “poems” on his website. Pretentious jerk.

Not sure why Dr. Z doesn’t have all 4/5s in these rankings. Sure he is a little quirky but he is hysterically funny and helpful. Try to take him if you can.

if you stuck him with a balloon, he’d diasppear,he’s so full of it!

Get away fast

Hmm.

marisacat - 25 April 2009

What a totally bizarre event. Not that all mass killings are not.

Oddly, ABC News saw fit to send out a “breaking news” whatever on this, but not on the passenger who tried to rush the cockpit. All things considered… rushing cockpits does rate a headline…

Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009

if he’d been of another country of origin it would be all over the news.

marisacat - 25 April 2009

agree. If he were Mexican now… it would be wall to wall cable coverage.

30. Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Looking at the follow-up stories, it appears the plane incident took place last night around 10 pm. After being subdued and seatbelted by other passengers, the Israeli is now in FBI custody and charged with flight interference or whatever. The story is he had a panic attack. After they checked out the aircraft, the other passengers, and the luggage, the plane was able to fly to Israel today.

31. marisacat - 25 April 2009

Just up from the BBC

A member of cabin crew was taken to hospital with “flu-like symptoms” today after falling ill on a British Airways flight from Mexico City to Heathrow.

The World Health Organisation has warned countries to be on alert for any unusual flu outbreaks after a swine flu virus was implicated in possibly dozens of human deaths in Mexico.

The BA employee, who has not been named, has been taken to Northwick Park hospital in Harrow, a hospital spokesman said.

He added: “He has flu-like symptoms and is responding well to treatment. The patient was admitted directly to a side room and the hospital is scrupulously following infection control procedures to ensure there is no risk to any other individual in the hospital.”

The man was taken from flight BA242 which landed at 2pm today, a BA spokesman said. …snip…

hmm I def heard CA mentioned last night with confirmed cases, but we are out of the headlines. Geesh, get real, if it is in Mexico, it is here.

32. Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

From the Athens Banner-Herald:

Current and former members of Town and Gown Players, a long-standing community theater group off Prince Avenue, had gathered for an annual reunion, when Zinkan started arguing with someone, left briefly and returned with two handguns, according to Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman.

He fired several shots, Holeman said, killing three. Though police are not yet identifying the victims, witnesses said they were Zinkan’s wife, Marie Bruce, and two men. Zinkan’s children were at the gathering, but were unharmed and did not see the shooting, Holeman said.

marisacat - 25 April 2009

How interesting.. a couple of reports I read mentioned his children were there, saw nothing and had been removed by tht police but not that the dead woman was his wife.

33. Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

In other murders, apparently the B-Street Band (guess who they cover) that was booked for the Craigslist killer’s August nuptials was the first to break the news today that the wedding is definitely off. I think Radar and People have the story.

34. marisacat - 25 April 2009

Reuters full text. We now have a seventh but don’t worry! She already recovered!

LOS ANGELES, April 25 (Reuters) – A seventh case of the swine flu that has killed up to 68 people in Mexico was confirmed in California on Saturday, state health officials said.

The case confirmed on Saturday was a 35-year-old woman from Imperial County, which shares a border with Mexico. The woman reported being ill starting on April 4 and was hospitalized but had since recovered, California Department of Public Health spokesman Al Lundeen told Reuters. (Editing by Peter Cooney)

Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

8 N.Y. High School Students Had Swine Flu, Health Officials Say

New York City Health officials reported today that at least eight students at a private high school had “probable” swine flu, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

More than 200 of the 2,700 students attending St. Francis Preparatory High School in the Queens borough of the city missed school earlier in the week due to fever sore throats and other flu-like symptoms, prompting school officials to notify the health department.

Investigators interviewed more than 100 students and their family members. All had mild symptoms and none were hospitalized, but some family members had developed similar symptoms, indicating their illness had spread in the family, according to Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden.

A preliminary analysis of viral samples obtained from nose and throat swabs from nine affected students found that eight tested positive for influenza A. Because none matched the known H1 and H3 subtypes of human flu, they were considered “probable cases of swine flu,” Frieden said. The samples have been sent to the CDC for further analysis. Those results were expected on Sunday. If the tests come back negative, officials plan to ask that the school remain closed on Monday, Frieden said.

marisacat - 25 April 2009

Reuters is using “pandemic” in their rolling breaking news headlines.

Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Two in Kansas, now, and two in Texas, says WSJ. No US deaths so far.

marisacat - 25 April 2009

They say our 5 in CA have recovered. LOL I gather we are a past tense event.

catnip - 25 April 2009

A talking CDN head said that a travel advisory hasn’t yet been released for CDNs going to Mexico and then went on to say that travellers should make sure they have a flu shot. Fat lot of good that’s going to do.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009

CNN just mentioned that two cops were shot and killed responding to an incident at a gun range, down south somewhere. I can’t find any links yet.

Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009

here:

CRESTVIEW, Fla. (AP) – Two north Florida sheriff’s deputies were shot and killed Saturday by a suspect who was later fatally shot by deputies, authorities said.

The shooting occurred around 1 p.m. when the two Okaloosa County deputies went to Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center in response to a call, said Michele Nicholson, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Authorities say the suspect shot both deputies and took off toward neighboring Walton County, where he was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies.

A man who answered the telephone at the shooting center near Crestview said he had no comment on the shooting.

Deputies Burt Lopez and Deputy Warren “Skip” York were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about 45 miles away, the sheriff’s office said.

A news release from the sheriff’s office identified their killer as Joshua Cartwright, 28, of Fort Walton Beach.

The sheriff’s office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which continue to investigate the incident, did not immediately release other details about Cartwright or why the deputies were called to the shooting range.

Fucking horrorshow in the news this week.

Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Bay County Press is calling that one a “domestic violence incident,” too.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 April 2009

oh, and Bea Arthur died.

37. BooHooHooMan - 25 April 2009

Any new time-of-arrival announced for the Rapture?

Gotta figure somebody carrying a cross and a collection plate is going to work that in to the swine flu story soon..

marisacat - 25 April 2009

well.. we’ve already been told that only Black Reagan Jesus can save us.

What more can be said.

Intermittent Bystander - 25 April 2009

Hamageddon?

38. marisacat - 25 April 2009

gnu post

LINK

…………………. 8O …………………..


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