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North Louisiana? And really why should Baton Rouge have all the fun… 26 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Russ Feingold, WAR!.


Not that it matters.  Just slowly starting off touring the political sites.  Not that it matters… [sigh] but I landed at this first.. at The Page:

Curtain Rises on the Blago Trial

Illinois’ Senate will open the state’s first-ever impeachment trial Monday, as Gov. Blagojevich continues his media blitz.

Set to appear Monday on “Good Morning America,”” The View” and “Larry King Live.”

Told the “Today” show that his trial is “rigged” and “fixed,” and that he draws comfort by thinking of Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King.

Watch video here.

Not that it matters, as we all know Obama is from Honolulu and Jakarta.  As I began the silly online perambulations, TV helpfully assisted with telling the Blago stories… with a cut from Daley being asked about Blago.  His only answer was to “cuck coo” a few times.  He does it well.  Which might mean something.  I guess.

Feingold has a nice idea (that I don’t see a bi partisan push back from governors going for) that out of cycle empty senate seats must be resolved by election, but hahahahahaha it barely scratches the surface of our political problems.

As for the rest, catching MTP on a repeat, Summers is surely on the right track, this was nearly the first out of his mouth.

DR. SUMMERS:  I’m telling him he’s inherited an extraordinarily difficult situation:  the worst economy since the second World War, a financial system that’s got very serious problems, government budget deficits he’s inheriting of a trillion dollars, an entitlement situation that’s three times the burden that it was in the year 2000. He’s inheriting an extraordinarily difficult situation in the domestic economy, in the global economy; the kind of situation that requires the types of decisive action he’s been working with Congress to produce.

Wars?  Anyone care to mention the wars?  The COST of the wars?

Oh look!  Beyonce is serenading the Prom King and Queen… Look over there!  At last… at last…

Things are in bad shape.

I do wonder what is to become of us.


1. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Iceland’s PM Geir Haarde announces the immediate resignation of his government in the wake of the country’s dire economic crisis.

For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

In case your day was too too bright.

2. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Via the Politico email:

BREAKING: Illinois Gov. (for the moment) Blagojevich tells ‘Good Morning America’ he was considering Oprah for President Obama’s Senate seat. Fox points out his media tour is probably aimed at the jury pool.

3. NYCO - 26 January 2009

This would have been more on-topic on the last thread, but…

Those who would like to combine Catholic Church + U.S. imperialism + Native American issues can get some good reading here:


It’s about the Doctrine of Discovery.

4. marisacat - 26 January 2009

oh what an interesting link, thanks for that NYCO…

The legacy of the “Doctrine of Discovery” has been devastating. Intractable social problems of racism, religious intolerance and a bourgeoning en­vironmental crisis are directly tied to it. The varied belief systems of people throughout the world are becoming homogenized into a single, imperialist worldview. The traditional Christian world­view that humans are to dominate and subdue the earth has lead to environmental degradation at an alarming rate of speed.

5. marisacat - 26 January 2009


[T]he second is a perceived need to increase government spending on anything and everything. When they run out of pork-barrel projects to fund – or when the corruption gets too obvious, whichever comes first – they’ll turn to military spending. Obama has already pledged to increase the military budget, and you can bet that, with the costs of the coming Afghan-Pakistani-Central Asian conflagration, “defense” appropriations are bound to go through the roof. Military Keynesianism will unite Democrats and Republicans, liberals and neoconservatives, in a happy orgy of spending and borrowing that will, ultimately, lead to bankruptcy. …snip…

At anti-war, there is also a beg, nothing else to call it from the old war reporter Galloway, for the incoming administration to do the right thing w/r/t criminality of the outgoing. Won’t be happening. One week in, barely, and it’s a beg. Because Galloway is around long enough to know it won’t be happening.

Not that it matters. In for a penny in for a pound, in for the bankruptcy.

6. marisacat - 26 January 2009

HA! From The Note. Apparently McC is not willing to be a cheap date.

One potential ally who won’t be: “Sen. John McCain said Sunday he would not support President Obama’s $825 billion economic stimulus plan in its current form because the House Democrats’ bill contains too much unnecessary spending and not enough tax cuts,” per ABC’s Tahman Bradley. Said McCain, on “Fox News Sunday”: “I’m opposed to most of the provisions in the bill. As it stands now, I would not support it.”

7. NYCO - 26 January 2009

4. Yeah, the most interesting bit in that piece, IMHO, is this one…

Another key decision was Tee-Hit-Ton v. United States (1955), which evoked the concept of “Manifest Destiny,” justifying Protestant immigrants taking land in the name of their Christian god. Then, in the Supreme Court decision Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation (March 29, 2005), Justice Ginsberg, arguably the most liberal justice on the court, wrote the decision against the Oneida Nation’s claim that their purchasing land which had been illegally taken by New York State could restore it to their aboriginal territory. The first citation in that decision was the “Doctrine of Discovery.”

So, when it boils down to it, the supposedly non-denominational United States needs to rely on a Papal bull. Right here, in the 21st century. Brought to you by your friendly American “liberals.”

8. marisacat - 26 January 2009

well those “liberals” also brought us kelo..the updated eminent domain case… which I find to be truly horrible.

9. catnip - 26 January 2009

This is William Kristol’s last column.

Next job: Cheney’s maid. (This time, in person.)

10. catnip - 26 January 2009

Blago’s entertaining. You have to give him that. 🙂

11. catnip - 26 January 2009

Helen Thomas at the WH press briefing: “Why does the president want to send more troops to Afghanistan to kill people?”

Give that woman a medal.

12. catnip - 26 January 2009

Job cuts:

Caterpillar 20,000
Home Depot 7,000
Sprint Nextel 8,000
GM 2,000

Meanwhile, Citigroup bought a $50 million jet.

And when, apparently, the Post called to ask the company to comment on their recent decision to purchase a new $50 million jet, a Citi employee responded like a petulant child.

“Why should I help you when what you write will be used to the detriment of our company?” replied Bill McNamee, head of CitiFlight Inc., the subsidiary that manages Citigroup’s corporate fleet, when asked to comment about the new 7X.

“What relevance does it have but to hurt my company?”

13. marisacat - 26 January 2009

God bless Helen… and last I saw Tapper now sits next to her. LOL… This could get good.
Articles around today that liken Afghanistan / Pakistan war to VIETNAM. I’ve seen two…

14. marisacat - 26 January 2009

What relevance does it have but to hurt my company?”

WSaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Mommy! They are being mean!

15. catnip - 26 January 2009

13. Afghanistan / Pakistan

Or, as it’s now known: AfPak (rhymes with Aflac. Maybe they should get some cute & fuzzy piece of poultry to sell their war too – although a turkey would probably be a bad idea.)

16. catnip - 26 January 2009

U.S. bankers avoid glitz of Davos, image a concern

Not that much of a concern, obviously.

17. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Well here is an interesting tidbit… Apparently, if one believes any of it, Yemeni detainees at Gitmo in the pipeline under Bush for release.

The roughly 100 Yemeni detainees are going to be among the toughest of Gimto residents to repatriate. In its waning hours, the Bush Administration tried to launder a bunch of them — the word is chosen advisedly — through Saudi Arabia, according to Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah al-Saleh.

Saleh says he refused to go along with this plan, which would have sent between 60 and 90 men to rehabilitation camps in Saudi Arabia, like the one profiled in the New York Times in November.

Now, Saleh claims that 94 Yemenis will be released into Yemeni custody within several months, where the government will send them to “edification” camps designed to rid them of their extremism. ….

As a sign of how real this is, the camps are apparently already being built.

Saleh’s timetable conflicts with what the administration is telling Congress and the American people about the detainee review process — unless they’re proceeding along parallel tracks.

Two Yemeni ex-detainees appear in the latest Al Qaeda video.

18. catnip - 26 January 2009

The CNN crawl had a line about a warning about a possible attack on the US embassy in Yemen earlier today.

17. “edification” camps designed to rid them of their extremism. ….

i.e. torture camps

19. marisacat - 26 January 2009

LA Times:

[A]s the troops burst inside, family members said Fuad Helw, 55, jumped up with his arms in the air.

“We all put our hands up and yelled, ‘We’re women and children. We’re not the resistance,’ ” recalled Sherine Helw, Fuad’s daughter-in-law.

The soldiers opened fire on Fuad, said Sherine, and he died in front of his family.

There are no independent accounts of what happened that day, when Israeli tanks rolled into the Zeitoun neighborhood on the outskirts of Gaza City at the beginning of the land offensive. The Israeli army, which staged its offensive after years of rocket attacks against southern Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip, refuses to discuss individual charges in detail.

“As a matter of policy, we do not target civilians,” an army spokesman said on condition that his name not be published. “These situations are very complex and our soldiers do the best they can.” …snip…

20. marisacat - 26 January 2009

via Dennis Perrin who links to this:

Allan Nairn, who has extensive experience exposing American-backed torture, including nearly being killed by Indonesian troops in East Timor, rips away the mask beneath the hood:

“Obama’s Executive Order bans some — not all — US officials from torturing but it does not ban any of them, himself included, from sponsoring torture overseas.

“Indeed, his policy change affects only a slight percentage of US-culpable tortures and could be completely consistent with an increase in US-backed torture worldwide.

“The catch lies in the fact that since Vietnam, when US forces often tortured directly, the US has mainly seen its torture done for it by proxy — paying, arming, training and guiding foreigners doing it, but usually being careful to keep Americans at least one discreet step removed.

“That is, the US tended to do it that way until Bush and Cheney changed protocol, and had many Americans laying on hands, and sometimes taking digital photos.

“The result was a public relations fiasco that enraged the US establishment since by exposing US techniques to the world it diminished US power.

“But despite the outrage, the fact of the matter was that the Bush/Cheney tortures being done by Americans were a negligible percentage of all of the tortures being done by US clients.

“For every torment inflicted directly by Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and the secret prisons, there were many times more being meted out by US-sponsored foreign forces.

“Those forces were and are operating with US military, intelligence, financial or other backing in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Jordan, Indonesia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Nigeria, and the Philippines, to name some places, not to mention the tortures sans-American-hands by the US-backed Iraqis and Afghans.”

The rest.

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

3 – thanks for that, NYCO. That was a very informative link.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

5 – speaking of begging:

Iraq War Peace Vigil Takes A Break

All Things Considered, January 26, 2009 · Peace activists in Potsdam, N.Y., have held a vigil every Saturday morning on front of the post office for more than six years. Now they are going on hiatus to give President Barack Obama a chance to fulfill his campaign promise to end the war in Iraq.

23. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

I remember “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” Madman. Of course, LeGuin, like the rest of ’em is just another pro-Democrat drooler. So I largely ignore anything she has to say outside her stories. Fewer headaches that way.

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

What relevance does it have but to hurt my company?”

And then Viscount McNamee sniffed his perfumed lace handkerchief, made a slight adjustment to his powdered wig and tottered off on his impossibly-high-heeled handmade shoes to join his fellow royals for a twelve course meal.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

23 – I’m not listening to hardly any public figure when The One comes up … they all sound like unhinged fearmongers on the one hand or a Witness promising some everlasting paradise on the other.

Just the latest Baby Bomber in Chief.

26. catnip - 26 January 2009

25. Racist! (Or something…)

27. marisacat - 26 January 2009

lol for classic dumbfuck begging… follow perrin and read the first part of his post… the aclu letter for people to sign.


28. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Here is a snip from the ACLU letter:

“Thank you for taking decisive action on civil liberties — issuing four executive orders to close Guantánamo, end the military commissions, ban torture and delay the al-Marri trial.

“I am proud that in your first 48 hours in office you are beginning to free America from the civil liberties outrages and human rights abuses of the Bush era.

“I promise you my support as you continue to take actions to renew American justice and look forward to your next steps towards ending this national shame and restoring America’s moral leadership in the world.”

Then of course Perrin goes on with the Allan Nairn quotes…

29. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Obama pushed the baby out … 😆

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Senate Approves Four-Month Hold on Digital TV Conversion [7:10 PM EST]

30. catnip - 26 January 2009

THis article from last year begs the question: why is Obama really planning a surge in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan and three other countries agreed in April to build a US$7.6-billion natural gas pipeline starting in 2010 that would deliver gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to energy-hungry Pakistan and India.

31. catnip - 26 January 2009

oops…html malfunction

32. marisacat - 26 January 2009

hmm 34 voted against Geithner… including Collins and HARKIN and BYRD, both citing the tax issues.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

Feingold voted against him too, and Saunders.

The ACLU should be ashamed of themselves.

34. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

Hey, no fair ! I was racist before Madman. He gets all the breaks just because all you Midwest types stick together.


I loved “kali yuga,” who reminded me on one of the recent SMBIVA threads that so often, the same “progs” who give facelifts to idiotic Right-wing tropes probably do it because they’re camp followers of supposed ex-Righties like Kos and whatsispuss at Americablog. Yep. When they do it, it’s high-minded inclusive bipartisan kumbaya. When I agree with an old-school Libertarian on LJ that the fucking war machine is a money drain as well as just a plain old moral outrage, it’s must be because the two of us are cuckoo extremists meeting around the bend. [snerk] Yeah, whatever.

35. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

Too bad they didn’t catch Geithner visiting a dom. Then maybe more of our moral arbiters would give a shit. Oh, well. The season is young. There’s still time. :p

36. marisacat - 26 January 2009

I will so too bomb! If I want to! So too! I will! Because I can! And I want to! And I did! And I will again!

The Bush administration launched 30 air attacks on targets in Pakistan in 2008, killing 220 persons. The strikes seem to have started in the summer, during the presidential campaign, about a year after candidate Obama began urging this policy. Bush may have instituted the aerial attacks to deny Obama a campaign talking point and to prevent him from out-hawking John McCain. That is, Obama may have pushed Bush — who had earlier been wary of alienating Pakistan — to the right. The American bombing of the tribal areas occurs with tacit Pakistani government acquiescence as a result of a secret agreement reached last September, despite the sometimes vehement public denunciations that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani issues after they’ve occurred….snip…

So, like, you know, ALL the bombings are Obama’s? One could get that interpretation… not even pushing too hard. Blood tiddly winks between CinC and wanna be. ”I’ll do it, no I am in office, I’LL do it first!”

I buy it.

Juan Cole in Salon, no ad to wait thru.

37. marisacat - 26 January 2009


Vitter is still in the Senate tho. Wearing diapers and visiting a working woman who probably did a little dom work when called for, did not do it.

38. catnip - 26 January 2009

34. Hey, no fair ! I was racist before Madman. He gets all the breaks just because all you Midwest types stick together.



(We have to stick together or we’d freeze to death.)

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

34 – hey ms_x …. Thbbft!!!!

40. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

Oh, I didn’t say he would actually be driven off, Mcat. Only that it would at least produce a tad more static in Medialand.

BTW, our Mayor has so far decided not to step down despite the fuss over his affair with the aide who may or may not have been of legal age back when.

I think I’d care less if the people rushing to defend Mayor Adams from any moral scrutiny had a grasp of just how the power elites rain punitive measures down on us all the time, based on their own perceived right to moral authority over others. Even the ones who don’t come packing a Bible do it daily. But people get swept up in the rock star syndrome and never seem to notice it happening. :/

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

Solis’ confirmation as Labor secretary delayed

The confirmation of Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte, as President Barack Obama’s Labor secretary has been delayed because of Republican objections.

Democrats have announced that a Republican senator is using a parliamentary procedure to delay Solis’ confirmation, the Washington paper Congress Daily reported Friday.

The anonymous hold – as the tactic is known – was placed because of Solis’ support for “card check” legislation aimed at facilitating union organization and another bill regarding pay-discrimination, and for non-responsive answers during her confirmation hearing, according to GOP aides, the paper reported.

During her nomination hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Solis deferred questions on the controversial card check bill to Obama, to the frustration of GOP committee members, who strongly oppose the legislation.

Of course, the donks won’t speak out forcefully for card check, or call the Repubs on it …

42. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

Hey ! You can’t say “wombat” on this board ! [fans self, pelts catnip with dried lentils]

43. catnip - 26 January 2009

I see Geithner in more of an ‘I’m TEH GAYZ’ scandal eventually.

44. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

Oh, and speaking of card check, just in case anyone missed it.

45. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Well this really is the THE issue:

I think I’d care less if the people rushing to defend Mayor Adams from any moral scrutiny had a grasp of just how the power elites rain punitive measures down on us all the time, based on their own perceived right to moral authority over others. — ms x

46. catnip - 26 January 2009

41. The confirmation of Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte,

Del Monte?

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

Lillian P. Willoughby, 93, Quaker activist

Lillian Pemberton Willoughby, 93, of Deptford, a retired dietitian and Quaker activist who went to jail to protest the war in Iraq three months before her 90th birthday, died Jan. 15 at home.

For 65 years Mrs. Willoughby demonstrated against war, racism and nuclear proliferation. Sometimes she was arrested, but the charges were dismissed.

That wasn’t what happened, however, when she and four other peace activists were charged with obstructing the entrance to the Federal Building in Philadelphia on March 20, 2003, the day after the Iraq war began.

Magistrate Judge Arnold C. Rapaport gave the protesters a choice: Pay a $250 fine or face jail time. Mrs. Willoughby told the judge she would pay if “you can use the money to provide clean drinking water to children in Iraq or to lessen our grandchildren’s tax burden for paying for this war.” Rapaport said he wasn’t in a position to negotiate.

On Oct. 21, 2004, Mrs. Willoughby gave her husband, George, a hug and a kiss, rose from her wheelchair, and entered the federal detention center in Philadelphia to serve a seven-day sentence. She told supporters she would pass the time by exercising, praying and writing. She did fine, her daughter Sally said, and was soon back to protesting.

In June 2006, Mrs. Willoughby and other members of the Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia carried an apple pie to the Army Recruitment Center on Broad Street in Center City and told the staff that they wanted to enlist in place of their grandchildren. She was arrested with the other women, but charges were dismissed.


48. catnip - 26 January 2009

42. [fans self, pelts catnip with dried lentils]

I have pucks. Frozen ones.

49. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

#45 — Thought about writing a piece about it, Mcat. Too jaded, though. I’d rather yak about comic books nowadays. :/

One guy on LJ who’s NOT a dribbling moron (actually a very talented creative type himself) was lamenting “loss of privacy” for public figures. I was trying, in my pawky way, to point out that elected officials don’t really deserve the right to immunity from moral outrage (real or contrived, hypocritical or not) when they can’t seem to let the rest of us have it. So let Adams squirm for awhile until everyone gets bored and goes back to watching pro basketball. He deserves it.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009


I didn’t know they had winter in Faerie.

51. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

#48 – Tsk. Those are baking-powder biscuits. Don’t lie to me.

[Strolls off to fetch gravy. :p ]

52. marisacat - 26 January 2009

I’d rather yak about comic books nowadays. :/ — ms x

Hey do what keeps you sane… 8)

53. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

BAY CITY, Mich. – A 93-year-old man froze to death inside his home just days after the municipal power company restricted his use of electricity because of unpaid bills, officials said.

Marvin E. Schur died “a slow, painful death,” said Kanu Virani, Oakland County’s deputy chief medical examiner, who performed the autopsy.

Neighbors discovered Schur’s body on Jan. 17. They said the indoor temperature was below 32 degrees at the time, The Bay City Times reported Monday.

“Hypothermia shuts the whole system down, slowly,” Virani said. “It’s not easy to die from hypothermia without first realizing your fingers and toes feel like they’re burning.”

Schur owed Bay City Electric Light & Power more than $1,000 in unpaid electric bills, Bay City Manager Robert Belleman told The Associated Press on Monday.

A city utility worker had installed a “limiter” device to restrict the use of electricity at Schur’s home on Jan. 13, Belleman said. The device limits power reaching a home and blows out like a fuse if consumption rises past a set level. Power is not restored until the device is reset.

The limiter was tripped sometime between the time of installation and the discovery of Schur’s body, Belleman said. He didn’t know if anyone had made personal contact with Schur to explain how the device works.

Schur’s body was discovered by neighbor George Pauwels Jr.

“His furnace was not running, the insides of his windows were full of ice the morning we found him,” Pauwels told the newspaper.

Belleman said city workers keep the limiter on houses for 10 days, then shut off power entirely if the homeowner hasn’t paid utility bills or arranged to do so.

He said Bay City Electric Light & Power’s policies will be reviewed, but he didn’t believe the city did anything wrong.

Well, maybe they didn’t do anything that was technically ILLEGAL, but “wrong” is a whole ‘nother thing.

54. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009
55. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009
56. CSTAR - 26 January 2009

# 42 Ms Xeno. What’s the deal with lentils? I noticed in a previous thread you mentioned them.

I happen to like lentils.

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

So, it seems that Turley gets it:

As we approach the one-week anniversary of the Obama administration, it is a bit early to judge the level of true change brought by the 44th president. However, it is becoming increasingly clear what is not going to change (at least for the better) in the Obama administration. With all of the euphoria of the inauguration, many supporters fought back a strange and long-lingering sensation: doubt. There was little room for doubt in the collective celebration of our first African-American president and a new course after a ruinous eight years under George W. Bush.

Yet, given his tendency to avoid fights on issues like war crimes and unlawful surveillance, Obama seems to view “change” in terms of social programs rather than legal principles. On the principle of the separation of church and state, these doubts are particularly pronounced and personified by the man who delivered the invocation at Obama’s inauguration: evangelical preacher Rick Warren.

Warren is viewed by many as an anti-gay and intolerant voice of the religious right. Obama has insisted that Warren’s much-discussed role simply reflects his desire to be inclusive and show that all views are welcomed in his administration. However, Warren represents more than a preacher with controversial religious views, but one who actively seeks to shape society along those same biblical lines.

From the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the Rev. Warren, Obama’s choices raise a concern that he (like his predecessor) seems to gravitate toward ministers who see little dividing the pulpit from politics.

The fact is that Obama has never hidden his agreement with President Bush on the role of religion in American politics. During the primaries, he proclaimed his intention to be “an instrument of God” and to create “a kingdom right here on Earth.” To be sure, past Democratic presidents also have sought religious advisers and incorporated religious organizations into federal programs as a political necessity in a largely Christian nation.

Expanding the Bush program

Yet, the intermingling of faith and politics was one of the more controversial aspects of Bush’s tenure. The centerpiece of that effort was the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives through which Bush gave billions of dollars to religious organizations to carry out a variety of public projects.

Despite the good work done in areas ranging from drug rehabilitation to disaster relief, it came at the cost of the government’s direct subsidization of religious groups. The faith-based office has been denounced by critics as an attack on the doctrine of the separation of church and state and a reward to the administration’s base of religious activists.

Many people assumed that any Democrat would restore the secular work of government and strive to remove religion from politics. But Obama has indicated that he intends to expand, not eliminate, the faith-based programs. Indeed, he has stated that Bush’s faith-based office “never fulfilled its promise” due to a lack of funding. This “lack of funding” cost this country $2.2 billion in 2007 alone.

Obama reportedly plans to change the name from the “Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives” into his own “White House Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.” The old office would become 12 offices to carry out the expanded program. Not exactly the change that many secularists and liberals were hoping for.

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009
59. marisacat - 26 January 2009

The FOX affiliate here showed that tape.. so far they are the only ones to have it, they are not distributing it to other news channels…. KTVU which is in Oakland.

I am guessing there is more t come.

And Elected Oakland is back under the covers. The DA no longer even bothers to return reporters phone calls …

60. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

60 – gonna take a string of released videos, and more protests.

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

oops … meant “59”

62. marisacat - 26 January 2009


The fact is that Obama has never hidden his agreement with President Bush on the role of religion in American politics. During the primaries, he proclaimed his intention to be “an instrument of God” and to create “a kingdom right here on Earth.”

I have to say I laughed REALLY hard at the so serious Patricia Williams, one of the 4 on with Moyers. She foolishly, all but STUPIDLY, hopes that ObRama will not have religion run programs funding. I clipped it out for the post…

People dropped their brains in the storm drains, remade Obster to what they wanted him to be, pulled the lever and now have a new, years’ long schtick of “principled disagreemnt” or some such transparent scheisse. Moving of course to principled disappointment. Then long refrains of “but there was so much to do… he tried. But there was so much to do, he tried…….. he really TRIIIIIED”.

Rinse off in 2012 or 2016 and reissue.

63. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

Are We Civilized Enough to Hold Our Leaders Accountable for War Crimes? The World Is Watching By John W. Dean

With few exceptions, the discussion about what the Obama Administration will do regarding the torture of detainees during the Bush years has been framed as a domestic matter, and the fate of those involved in torturing has been largely viewed as a question of whether the Department of Justice will take action. In fact, not only is the world watching what the Obama Administration does regarding Bush’s torturers, but other countries are very likely to take action if the United States fails to do so.

Bush’s Torturers Have Serious Jeopardy

Philippe Sands, a Queen’s Counsel at Matrix Chambers and Professor of International law at University College London, has assembled a powerful indictment of the key Bush Administration people involved in torture in his book Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values. He explains the legal exposure of people like former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney’s counsel and later chief of staff David Addington, former Office of Legal Counsel attorney John Yoo, the former Department of Defense general counsel Jim Haynes, and others for their involvement in the torture of detainees at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and CIA secret prisons.

After reading Sands’s book and, more recently, listening to his comments on Terry Gross’s NPR show “Fresh Air,” on January 7, 2009 I realized how closely the rest of the world is following the actions of these former officials, and was reminded that these actions appear to constitute not merely violations of American law, but also, and very literally, crimes against humanity — for which the world is ready to hold them responsible.

Here is what Professor Sands told Terry Gross on NPR: “In talking to prosecutors around the world, as I have done, they all recognize the very real political difficulties of taking on someone who has been Vice President of the United States, or President of the United States, or Secretary of Defense of the United States. But those arguments melt away as you go a little down the chain. And I don’t think the same arguments would apply in relation to the man, for example, who was Vice President Cheney’s general counsel, at the time the decisions were taken, David Addington … I think he faces a very real risk of, you know, investigation for complicity in an act that amounts to torture … ” Later, referring to “international investigations,” he added that Addington (and others) were at “serious risk of being investigated.”

The rest of the post is an interview w/ Sands.

JD: If no, what would it take for those like you to call for all countries with potential jurisdiction to take action?

PS: More than 140 countries may potentially exercise jurisdiction over former members of the Bush Administration for violations of the 1984 Torture Convention and the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including the standards reflected in their Common Article 3. Whether they do so, and how they might do so, turns on a range of factors, including their domestic procedural rules. In the United Kingdom, one criminal investigation is already underway, in relation to the alleged treatment of Binyam Mohammed, a Guantanamo detainee who is a British resident. I doubt it will be the last. That said, having set out the relevant facts in one case [in my book], to the best of my abilities, I feel it will now be for others to take this forward as they consider appropriate.

JD: Do you believe that a failure of the Obama Administration to investigate, and if necessary, prosecute, those involved in torture would make them legally complicit in the torture undertaken by the Bush Administration?

PS: No, although it may give rise to violations by the United States of its obligations under the Torture Convention. In the past few days there have been a series of significant statements: that of Susan Crawford, of former Vice President Cheney’s confirming that he approved the use of waterboarding, and by the new Attorney General Eric Holder that he considers waterboarding to be torture. On the basis of these and other statements it is difficult to see how the obligations under Articles 7(1) and (2) of the Torture Convention do not cut in: these require the US to “submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution”. What happens thereafter is a matter for the prosecutor, who may decide that, in accordance with applicable standards (“authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State”) and the facts of the case, including the prospects for a successful prosecution, that proceeding to actual prosecution is not justified.

JD: Finally, you mentioned the case proceeding in the UK regarding possible torture of a British national. Is it possible that even an American ally like Great Britain could seek extradition, and undertake prosecution, of U.S. officials like Addington and Yoo for facilitating the torture of a citizen of Great Britain — if the U.S. fails to act?

PS: It is possible. The more likely scenario, however, is that which occurred in Senator Pinochet’s case: the unwitting traveller sets foot in the wrong country at the wrong time.

64. marisacat - 26 January 2009

I felt sorry for Galloway reading him at anti-war…. but it is not going to be. Is not.

In fact, not only is the world watching what the Obama Administration does regarding Bush’s torturers, but other countries are very likely to take action if the United States fails to do so.

Fine with me. I know it is all we will get. THIS country is utterly debauched.

65. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 January 2009

State of Cringe

I’ve been skeptical of the “stimulus” as sketched out so far, aimed at refurbishing the infrastructure of Happy Motoring. To me, this is the epitome of a campaign to sustain the unsustainable — since car-dependency is absolutely the last thing we need to shore up and promote. I haven’t heard any talk so far about promoting walkable communities, or any meaningful plan to get serious about fixing passenger rail and integral public transit. Has Mr. Obama’s circle lost sight of the fact that we import more than two-thirds of the oil we use, even during the current price hiatus? Or have they forgotten how vulnerable this leaves us to the slightest geopolitical spasm in such stable oil-exporting nations as Nigeria, Mexico, Venezuela, Libya, Algeria, Columbia, Iran, and the Middle East states? And we’re going to rescue ourselves by driving cars?

I know it is difficult for Americans at every level to imagine a different way-of-life, but we’d better start tuning up our imaginations, because endless motoring is not our destiny anymore. The message has not moved from the grassroots up, and so at this perilous stage the message had better come from the top down. Mr. Obama needs to go on TV and tell the American public that were done cruisin’ for burgers. He could do that by drastically reviving his stimulus proposal as it currently stands.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

66. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Fish gotta fly, birds gotta swim………….. Americans gotta drive honking big yachts called cars.

Plus the government is not going to build mass transportation insfrastructure. Not going to do it.

Or only when pigs hit High C.

67. NYCO - 26 January 2009

65. I haven’t heard any talk so far about promoting walkable communities, or any meaningful plan to get serious about fixing passenger rail and integral public transit.

New York Congressional contingent is all hot on high-speed rail now. They aren’t going to get any stimulus bucks on this I think, but the blathering has now intensified to an almost lockstep format. They envision a NY-Albany-Buffalo-Binghamton-and-back circuit.

If the blathering continues, it may enter the larval meme stage, similar to the way the idea of the Erie Canal was talked about for decades back in the day until it became a reality.

68. marisacat - 26 January 2009

well we voted in (nov 08] high speed rail, SF SJ Los Angeles… and think some feeder sections as well. As soon as we voted it in, we were told we likely could never have it… which I had expected them to say ANYWAY, but voted for it to send a message.


69. catnip - 26 January 2009

50. I didn’t know they had winter in Faerie.

How did you know where I live?

51. Tsk. Those are baking-powder biscuits. Don’t lie to me.

You’ve obviously tasted my biscuits. 😉

70. catnip - 26 January 2009

As all of the grand promises collapse…U.S. will likely lower its goals for Afghanistan: officials

President Barack Obama is likely to scale back U.S. ambitions for troubled Afghanistan, redefining victory in a war that his closest military and foreign affairs advisers say cannot be won on the battlefield.

Even before a planned doubling of U.S. forces occupying Afghanistan later this year, the new administration is lowering its sights — and lowering expectations. Although there is general agreement that the United States will be in Afghanistan for years to come, the new focus is on how to show even small security gains and development progress quickly.

“That’s clearly the message I’m getting is, ‘What are the near-term goals going to be?’ ” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said when asked about Obama’s agenda for Afghanistan.

Mullen and Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who has recently suggested the administration of former president George W. Bush overreached in Afghanistan, are scheduled to testify Tuesday before the U.S. Senate and House armed services committees.

New slogan:

“Obama: There’s no expectation he won’t lower.”

71. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Honestly I think “victory” in Afghanistan is holding PART of Kabul, switching out Karzai and a drone war on the border/Waziristan/the “lawless” territories.

What a nightmare. Staying on, so to speak, with enough war to look busy and keep killing.

72. catnip - 26 January 2009


PS: No, although it may give rise to violations by the United States of its obligations under the Torture Convention.

I saw the UN’s main guy on torture (can’t remember his name now) interviewed on CBC today and he said the same thing – that the current US gov’t is obligated to investigate, even if it doesn’t then take action. Whichever body then chose to prosecute could use that evidence. And he was quite clear that there is more than enough evidence to go after Rumsfeld already.

73. marisacat - 26 January 2009

Think Michael Ratner of … forget the name of his public interest law group in NYC, has brought charges in Germany agaisnt Rumsfeld. IIRC it did nto make it far in the German court system (trying to remember, several years ago now) but a lot of ground work, at least early on, was laid, I would think.

74. catnip - 26 January 2009

73. Yes, I remember Ramsey Clark being involved in a German case setup as well. The ultimate spot for a trial would be Iraq, of course. Who knows? Maybe someday.

75. ms_xeno - 26 January 2009

#56, CSTAR, there’s nothing wrong with lentils.

Why else would I

A) Use them to show the First Lady the path of true virtue ?

B) Throw them at all my closest internet friends ?

76. marisacat - 26 January 2009

For whatever it is worth, this is the float at Times Online

Freed Guantánamo prisoners taunt US as closure plan falls apart

Tim Reid in Washington and David Charter in Brussels

President Obama’s plan to close Guantánamo Bay within a year appeared to be unravelling yesterday with the emergence of former inmates on terrorist websites, fierce opposition in the US and a lukewarm response to taking detainees from the European Union.

After signing an executive order last week to close the US military prison, Mr Obama has been confronted with myriad obstacles that are making his ambitious pledge look unrealistic.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, ruled out the prospect of Britain taking any more inmates, claiming that it had already made a significant contribution.

His announcement, at a meeting of EU foreign ministers, came as Saudi Arabia announced yesterday that it had rearrested nine Islamist militants, including former Guantánamo inmates released to the Kingdom who had undergone a re-education programme in Riyadh.

The Pentagon is set to release a report this week giving details to back up its claim that 61 former Guantánamo detainees – about 11 per cent of the 520 inmates who have been released – had “returned to terrorism”.

At a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels yesterday, the idea of taking in about 60 Guantánamo inmates cleared for release received a far from enthusiastic response, with some members, including Britain, appearing to reject the prospect. …snip…

77. catnip - 26 January 2009

75. A) Use them to show the First Lady the path of true virtue ?

Yes, that’s right. I am the First Lady of Herbs.

78. catnip - 26 January 2009


about 11 per cent of the 520 inmates who have been released – had “returned to terrorism”.

What a bullshit statement. None of those people were ever convicted of terrorism so how could they have “returned” to it?

79. catnip - 26 January 2009

Prosecuting torture: ‘Hard to believe’

catnip: Believe it, Gonzales

80. catnip - 26 January 2009

“Nonetheless, the very discussion about it is extremely discouraging,” the former attorney general said. “And I have talked to officials, senior officials at the CIA for example, who tell me that agents at the CIA no longer have any interest at doing anything remotely controversial, for fear that they are going to be investigated, and they’re going to have to go out and hire lawyers in order to do their job.

“And so it has a very discouraging effect. And the net result of all of that is that people will not be doing what they need to be doing to gain intelligence that will help us connect the dots and protect our country from another attack.”

Oh fuck you.

81. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 January 2009

The whole “returned to terrorism” has been pretty convincingly debunked by a Seton Hall law professor.

82. catnip - 27 January 2009

John Updike has died of lung cancer at 76.

83. marisacat - 27 January 2009

Yes just heard about Updike on the mid hour KGO…

As for Seton Hall professors… think any jelly fish Dem will be out there talking the points. Democrats died of blunt edges and no fingers. Much less spine, neck bones. I do think they have a vestigial tail however. Apologies to those who should come with tails..

It’s MOOT.

84. NYCO - 27 January 2009

No more Master of the Universe…

Even Tom Wolfe, who chronicled an earlier era of Wall Street excess in his 1987 best seller “Bonfire of the Vanities,” says he is a little shocked. And he knows about the Masters of the Universe: He coined the term, after all.

“The idea of ‘Masters of the Universe’ on Wall Street just went kaput,” Mr. Wolfe told me the other day, as Wall Street was digesting the news of Mr. Thain’s ouster. “The whole order of things has changed.”

Well, I coulda toldja that… For example, does anyone really think Caroline Kennedy stood a chance in this chaotic age? Look for more Brahmins to be toppled. Barbarians at the gate.

Apparently the financial wizards think they can now just opt out and start a new life writing their memoirs. But for most of them, no one’s going to buy their books, either. They’re done.

85. NYCO - 27 January 2009

PS- speaking of barbarians, here is my impression of NY’s new Capitol Hill delegation getting ready to go after a chunk of Obama’s stimulus package.

86. marisacat - 27 January 2009

“getting ready”… gah they are going after ti hook line and sinker. And Dems are caving and will cave, is my perception.

They caved on monies to low income women/Family Planning monies. According to Politico, at the behest of Master of the WH. Took a couple days.

Not that Nancy did anything but help Boehner by being a dolt on with Steph.

87. NYCO - 27 January 2009

Oh brother… Obama’s “new approach” to the Muslim world seems full of the “usual bullshit”…

He added that “we sometimes make mistakes,” but said that America was not born as a colonial power and that he hoped for a restoration of “the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”

WHAT! Does he really believe this crap?

I sure hope unhappy Native Americans aren’t listening to that.

88. marisacat - 27 January 2009

oh his appearance on al Arabiya is the stuff of legends to be… Inoticed the speech in a “muslim capitol ” is back on.

Meanwhile………………back at home……………

89. marisacat - 27 January 2009

Ben Smith has the full transcript of the al Arabiya interview.


90. marisacat - 27 January 2009

Via Ambinder…using him as he has a couple extra tidbits. He links to the AP report

On Obama’s Urging, House Dems To Drop Family Planning From Stimpak

According to the AP, President Obama called Henry Waxman and personally asked that the provision making it easier for states to pay for family planning funding for Medicaid be stricken from the bill.

Though details aren’t final, and though Waxman hasn’t reacted in public yet, Democrats in the House seem to be ready to concede the point to the White House.

A Democrat familiar with the administration’s reasoning said that while Obama and the House still considered it “good policy” and did “save money,” it became “an easy target for critics who said it would not help the economy, so better to take it out and keep focus on the bill creating jobs.”

The provision will likely return in later legislation. …triplesnip…

91. marisacat - 27 January 2009

oh here is the rest of it… imo it’s a template for the future. Blooo Dogs have said they will rule. So High School. So damned stuck.

Republicans who met with Obama this week cited the provision as an unnecessary political sop to pro-choicers in the midst of a stimulus package that Obama hopes to get Republican support for. Right pressure groups like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family Action have been urging their supporters to pressure conservative Democrats.

Obama’s personal lobbying on this issue does several things; it takes some of the pressure off House Democrats for caving. It shows Republicans that he takes (some of) their concerns seriously, even to the point of irritating his own base. And it’s a test to see whether his base is willing to give him a pass, as Obama has said that it’s important to him that the stimulus package pass with bipartisan support.

OF COURSE the base will give him a pass. That’s their job…. LOL

92. ms_xeno - 27 January 2009

#77: Yeah, yeah, catnip. It’s all about you and your crochet formal gowns. :p

93. marisacat - 27 January 2009

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Treasury Gives $386 Million to 23 Banks, First Awards Under Obama [4:20 p.m. ET]

94. catnip - 27 January 2009

Alberta Bishop calls for halt on oilsands growth

The bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese that covers Fort McMurray has waded into the environmental debate over the oilsands, arguing future development there “constitutes a serious moral problem” and goes against God’s teachings.

In an online pastoral letter for Catholics in northeastern Alberta, Bishop Luc Bouchard of the Diocese of St. Paul calls for a moratorium on further oilsands development until environmental and social concerns are addressed.

“I am forced to conclude that the integrity of creation in the Athabasca oilsands is clearly being sacrificed for economic gain. The proposed future development of the oilsands constitutes a serious moral problem,” Bouchard writes in the long and extensively footnoted letter.

“Environmentalists and members of First Nations and Metis communities who are challenging government and industry to adequately safeguard the air, water and boreal forest ecosystems of the Athabasca oilsands region present a very strong moral argument, which I support,” he said, calling for residents to contact their MLAs and MPs on the issue.

“The present pace and scale of development in the Athabasca oilsands cannot be morally justified. Active steps to alleviate this environmental damage must be undertaken.”

Good for him.

Bouchard lays out his concerns using what he describes as “foundational Catholic theological principles supporting environmental ethics,” arguing that “when people destroy or damage creation they are limiting their ability to know and love God.”

Whatever. One more environmentalist is welcome. The oilsands are an absolute disgrace.

95. catnip - 27 January 2009

92. t’s all about you and your crochet formal gowns. :p

And my tiara, of course.

96. catnip - 27 January 2009
97. catnip - 27 January 2009

Oops…I see you already have that revelation. Sorry. Nap time. (blushing smiley)

98. catnip - 27 January 2009
99. marisacat - 27 January 2009

don’t worry about it catnip… 😆 it is such a stupid cave.

Obama On Family Planning Funds

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirms that President Obama spoke to congressional leaders yesterday about family planning funds.

“While he agrees that greater access to family planning is good policy, the President believes that the funding for it does not belong in the economic recovery and reinvestment plan,” Gibbs said.

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100. marisacat - 27 January 2009

Talking Points TPMDC had a good post up on it.. it is not jsut funding BC… as both Boehner and messed up Nancy are happy to let it seem to be. That woman is a liability. Uesless in public.

House Democrats have removed a provision from their stimulus bill that would exempt states from the need to get waivers for covering family planning under Medicaid. The family-planning aid has been the subject of repeated Republican attacks over the past few days, and health care advocates were dismayed by the Democrats’ decision to give in on its removal.

"We are disappointed that the Medicaid Family Planning State Option, a common-sense provision to expand basic health care to millions of women, including many who have lost their jobs in the current economic downturn, was a victim of misleading attacks and partisan politics, and dropped from the economic stimulus bill," Planned Parenthood for America President Cecile Richards said in a statement today.

But the House’s move didn’t necessarily mean that the family-planning aid is dead. After all, the Senate still has to act and could include the provision in its stimulus bill — right?

Maybe not. …snip

they also say that Feingold and Stabenow were concered at the removal and will try to find a way to provide the WAIVERS, which is what it is all about. Waivers to use expand make available Medicaid to poor women for family planning. Elsewehre I have read the states sometimes wait up to two years to receive applied for waivers.

101. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 January 2009

87 – I thought the same thing. New post.

102. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 January 2009

Fire Witch Rising: Pedophile Priests Dumped On Alaska Natives

“This morning, 43 Alaskan Natives filed a lawsuit against the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), claiming a widespread conspiracy to dump pedophile priests in small Alaskan towns and shelter them from exposure.

The suit was filed in the Bethel, Alaska Superior Court.

Reverend Father Stephen Sundborg—current president of Seattle University and head of the Northwest Jesuits from 1990 to 1996—is named as a co-conspirator.”

103. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 January 2009

Crom save us from stupid misogynist Catholics:

Matthews: I don’t know. It sounds a little like China. I, Congressman Gingrey I think everybody should have family planning. Everybody believes in birth control as a right. I’m for abortion as a right and all that. It’s all right. But why should the federal government have a policy of reducing the number of births? I don’t know why the federal government has an interest in that. They have an interest in freedom and people making choices but I just heard a case made by Congressman Wexler that it was in the national interest to have fewer kids. I don’t understand that. (crosstalk) What did you mean by that? What did you mean by that? Why is it an economic stimulus…why are we talking about family planning as an economic stimulus program…(crosstalk).

This is stupid on so many levels.

104. NYCO - 27 January 2009

101. Madman, I commented on your blog, but also wanted to share this with people here… the story of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign of 1779, the first war of colonization/ethnic cleansing undertaken by the new United States of America.


This is a Flash presentation, pretty informative (but turn the sound down)

105. marisacat - 27 January 2009

By now “family planning” is so garbled it may never be straightened out as to what it actually is.

106. marisacat - 27 January 2009

just a thread………….


…………….. 8) ………………..

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