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He wants to be a ”transformational figure”, they say 20 May 2009

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, Culture of Death, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Israel/AIPAC, Pakistan, WAR!.

Gallery at the NYT on the bombing raid on Granai in the Farah district…

Nuria, 7, another sister, was also at the aunt’s house. The calamity in the village of Granai illustrates the test for the Obama administration as it deploys more than 20,000 additional troops. [Joao Silva for The New York Times]

The “calamity” in Granai… “a test for the O administration”… it is all so procedural.  A process. A test.  We must simply work it thru, like school.. and ensure… something or other for the Obama administration.

The bombs were so powerful people were shredded.


Jon Meacham of Newsweek on Charlie Rose..

[J]ON MEACHAM: […] And he wants to be a
transformational figure.

CHARLIE ROSE: Transformational to what?

JON MEACHAM: I think, to use a phrase from another president, to a kinder, gentler nation. I think that the reason he.

CHARLIE ROSE: That’s really it, huh, a kinder, gentler nation?

JON MEACHAM: I think so. Don’t you think that he’s trying to
hopefully build a country where the fundamental needs of a great majority of the people are taken care of, so that they can then pursue whatever they want to pursue? That is if you try to do what you can with education, you try to secure the environment through energy, you try to guarantee at some
level healthcare as a fundamental human right, in order to enable people to live their lives, hopefully according to the free market that’s ever more regulated at this point. But I do think so. I think it’s a fairly straightforward vision. …snip…

Mr Meacham is in a tiny sound proof lock box. All of his own making. Earlier in the sit down with CR, he talked of his childhood in Chattanooga where Grand Daddy was a judge… as a small child he’d trail along after his grandfather, spending time with the courthouse denizens…

Yes I can see that. Rather too clearly.

Things get to a mix of sharp and fuzzball focus on Iran and Israel, however.

[C]HARLIE ROSE: Well, and security of the United States is crucial too.

JON MEACHAM: Right. And press twice on would you, how will you deal with Israel if they wanted to make — take a strike against the Iran militarily, about the nuclear program. He said it’s not my place to assess the needs of the security of the state of Israel. He went at this twice, so he’s clearly giving Netanyahu a lot of space.

CHARLIE ROSE: What he’s trying to do is give Netanyahu some space and time, at the same time seeing how much he can work over the period of time he’s trying to get to figure out what the Iranians might be willing to do.

JON MEACHAM: Right, right. And his argument is, even if this fails, it will show that we have gone — we went as far as we could, and therefore we’ll have — hopefully we’ll have the world with us.

CHARLIE ROSE: Can make the case to the world we tried everything.

JON MEACHAM: Right. Which is obviously a reaction to the diplomacy around Iraq.  ..snip..

He and CR seem to think it, ObamaWar,  is “different”.  Sounds a lot the same to me.

Of course, they could, all of them, subject and interviewer, both sets, be whistling Dixie. Blowing it out their asses.

There is definitely Dixie in the deal.

Here is just a lovely image.. appropriately evocative of Tee Vee Land..

JON MEACHAM: […] He told me the last movie he saw was “Star Trek,” because, as he put it, everybody was saying I was Spock, so I need to check it out. But then I can’t do it, but then he did the Vulcan hi, which is kind of — when the nuclear hand does that, it’s a little scary.

Is there Dixie in outer space – out drifting between the planets? I feel sure there is.


Things move along.. I see scanning the headlines that we will try a Gitmo detainee in NYC… but aren’t we scared to death he will get free and kill us all, all of us!, in our beds?  Rape our children, watch our tvs and eat our Cheetos?  Flush our bibles down the toilette?

And, we broke up a nice, highly inflammatory terror plot.  Jewish synagogues were to be bombed, using car bombs no less… and they planned on shooting military planes down from the sky.  ”Recently radicalised Islamists”… say the police sources.



1. marisacat - 20 May 2009

The annointing:

Commander in Chief Now

By David Broder

WASHINGTON — No new president finds that every aspect of the job suits him at once; some duties are inevitably more comfortable than others. What we have witnessed in the last few weeks is Barack Obama trying on and fitting himself to the role of commander in chief.

The most controversial decisions of this period — expanding the troop commitment and replacing the commander in Afghanistan, opposing the release of photos of abused detainees, keeping the system of military tribunals, and delaying any change in the don’t ask, don’t tell policy on gays in the services — are of a pattern.

In every instance, Obama heeded the advice of his uniformed and civilian defense leaders and in each case but Afghanistan, he abandoned a position he had taken as the Democratic presidential candidate.

The predictable result has been the first sustained outcry from the left, angry denunciations from leaders of constituencies that had been early supporters. They feel betrayed as they watch him continuing, with minor modifications, the policies and practices of his Republican predecessor.


Whatever the risks, Obama clearly has taken on the mindset and the priorities of a commander in chief — and he is unlikely to revert. When Newsweek’s Jon Meacham asked him last week what was the hardest thing he’d had to do so far, Obama said: “Order 17,000 additional troops into Afghanistan. There is a sobriety that comes with a decision like that because you have to expect that some of those young men and women are going to be harmed in the theater of war.”


Obama’s liberal critics are right. He is a different man now. He has learned what it means to be commander in chief.

Top to bottom it is quite something… it is sweet illusion Ob was ever going to be any different. Broder entertains some drool for the rubes that he now has the wise counsel of yada yada.. as opposed to his campaign counsel. Kind of amusing.

2. BooHooHooMan - 20 May 2009

Unbelievable. Well ,that they finally picked the guy up-

Attorney, Gangster, Pimp, and Drug Dealer
(ONE GUY – formerly of the DOJ, was mouthpiece for US Mil Guard @ Abu Graib – nice fat billable there)
in with the NJ Cops,, Judges, and Prosecutors,

Ex-Prosecutor in Newark Charged With Murder
Published: May 20, 2009


…..In an indictment unsealed on Wednesday in United States District Court in Newark, prosecutors accused Mr. Bergrin, 53, of orchestrating the murder of a confidential witness by leaking his name to drug dealers who shot him in broad daylight on a Newark street corner; of traveling to Chicago to hire a murderer to kill a witness in another case; of coaching some eyewitnesses to lie; and of paying others to change their stories or leave town on the day they were to testify.

The charges, which left Mr. Bergrin in federal custody and facing a possible death penalty, were a stunning development for a flamboyant man who owned a Mercedes and a Bentley, hobnobbed with movie stars and boasted of beach homes in New Jersey and the Caribbean.

There’s alot more to this story. The guy is a cops son, continued the thug tradition as attorney. He’s been suspected of this, had a pattern of cases with clients getting off as witnesses get killed. Real chummy with the cops. All these city cops:: Philly, North Jersey up by new York, all these cops have been plunking down money for gigundo places in the shore towns PLUS the half million dollar fishing boats, neighbors aren’t stupid. Shore points Realtors say other than physicians Cops were their best prospects.
And it’s the cops who make Bergrin such an extraordinary gangster here. Kind of like the Bruce Cutler of New Jersey. What an honor. …Now BERGRIN is being represented by Shargel.

But Attorney Bergrin’s real racket centers on his being a pimp. Literally. Had a nice clientele of the Bar, the Bench, and the Billy Clubbers as clients.

Considering Bergrin’s client’s ( not the Law Practice, but the Cops and Pols he’d sell young women to) , he’s headed for Federal protective custody..All this stems from his 2007 case, though, in New York, When Morganthau’s “Office”,( tho I doubt the corpse himself) took the first shot at Bergrin and his Little Black book of Cops and Political Johns. Catch the last graf from the 2007 Times story:

The office of the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, has accused Mr. Bergrin of taking over the business from a former client and using it to offer sexual favors to unnamed New Jersey law enforcement officers and jail guards — people who were in a position to keep him informed about what inmates might be planning to cooperate against his clients.

Mr. Bergrin has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, Gerald Shargel, called the charges “nonsense.”

. …The Times piece then was written as if the DEFENSE side of the non-Justice system is where the problem is. Why the fuck aren’t Prosecutors making protective custody available? How much is their cut from their drug dealing and sex slave running colleague in “private practice”??? In Bergrin’s case, why the footdragging by the DOJ then? Some Pols other than Spitzer doin the nasty at $1000/ hr?

But catch the following grafs from the same 2007 story before the the FBI was involved, or, more precisely, before they ran with it:

The possible role of defense lawyers in the intimidation of witnesses has angered prosecutors in New Jersey for years, and has recently attracted the interest of state legislators.

Oh sure it has. You betcha. At least THIS guy “attracted attention”., the flesh merchant who either fucked with someone’s cut or went to shake down too-big-a-fish . Like they give as hit about street dealers and rap stars other than as money marks.

For their part, prosecutors say they have grown weary of a familiar sequence of events: Shortly after they provide defense lawyers with copies of a witness’s statement, as they are required by law to do, the threats, warnings and outright attacks begin.

In gang cases prosecuted in cities including Trenton, Newark and Camden, it is not unusual for a witness’s statement to be photocopied within days of being turned over to the defendant’s lawyer, and then be posted on telephone poles or circulated throughout the neighborhood.

How fucking surreal can they get?::::

State officials are hoping to offer witnesses greater protection, state officials are pushing for lawsto restrict the information released to lawyers for certain criminal defendants.

The corrupt legislature is going to pass Laws for the corrupt cops, prosecutors, defense attorney’s and Judges to IGNORE. Just bring on the collapse.

A bill now being considered by the State Legislature and supported by the state attorney general would require that prosecutors handling gang cases turn over only a witness’s name, and make it a felony for defense lawyers to provide their clients with addresses or other identifying information.

Every time there is a case here against law enforcement or politically connected white collar thugs, unless it is cop v cop or or political PTB, they hardly EVER get convicted. Like Never EVER. Of course it’s a miracle when THEY DECIDE to “Prosecute”. Then, if they do they Botch. the. case. — held hostage to cop/thugs or pols who threaten to spill on other courthouse crooks. It sounds hyperbolic but it’s not.

When Christie was Bush’s US Attorney, (now the likely GOP opponent to Corzine this fall) despite having ample reason to move in following Morganthou’s move against Bergrin, look how the just laid down…

But federal officials have described Mr. Bergrin in open court as the “house counsel” of Mr. Curry’s drug organization, which they said was responsible for more than 80 percent of the heroin distributed in Newark. Dealers who worked for Mr. Curry have testified that Mr. Bergrin was equal part lawyer and friend whose main duty was to monitor all the cases to be certain that no one cooperated with prosecutors.

The United States attorney for New Jersey, Christopher Christie Jr., has not brought charges against Mr. Bergrin, partly because an assistant prosecutor did not properly safeguard the tapes of wiretapped conversation involving him, meaning that they may not be admissible as evidence in court.

BOTCHED THE CASE™. It the new black. And Obstruction of Justice.

Well. This guy Bergrin? He’s fuckin guilty.
…Happily, there are plenty of people that will want him dead.
And, LOL- plenty of people he can damage whether he goes or not.
So Nothing like a glimpse of karma in Jersey every now and then…

Too bad it won’t make up for the State Trooper who is about to get off for killing two teenage sisters when he plowed through their car at 90 miles an hour making a run on duty in the State Police Cruiser for free pizza. The guy said he was chasing “a speeder”, ran stops signs and lights at 90, No “speeder” showed up on vid cams through the area.

The State Police were forced into charging him as the girls were as white as the driven snow, two sisters, parents and community pushed back. HARD. So now they go through the farce of “prosecution” and last week at trial a late witness shows up to say he was “the speeder”. It will be a miracle if the guy is convicted. The cop union thugs are patrolling NJ comment boards about the case.
Just Spamming the fuck out of comments. Probably on the clock.

3. catnip - 20 May 2009

Obama’s liberal critics are right. He is a different man now. He has learned what it means to be commander in chief.

He misspelled Hooah!

Commander in chief, my ass.

Capitulator…Chameleon in chief…

4. BooHooHooMan - 20 May 2009


We are so guilty.

5. catnip - 20 May 2009

So, can someone tell my why Obamalama is putting his face on the tube again tomorrow nite to deliver yet another speech when there is absolutely no reason to (besides the need to stroke his humungous ego)?

marisacat - 20 May 2009

He is a little Japanese folded paper flower, he blooms under the cameras.

6. BooHooHooMan - 20 May 2009

Could somebody please translate that Broder?

Broder Mash-up:
He’s Commander in Chief Now -In every instance, Obama heeded the advice of his uniformed and civilian defense leaders and in each case but Afghanistan, he abandoned a position he had taken as the Democratic presidential candidate.

Commander an’ Sheep.

Gonna go count some Obamas. G’ night.

7. catnip - 20 May 2009

It’s high time the people we elected to Congress answered to us

by Darcy Burner

lol…they’re so cute over there.

Send money now! That’ll show ’em!

marisacat - 20 May 2009

So.. she lost again last November? Cuz otherwise she’d be sliding sideways along with all the others. And Ob


8. marisacat - 20 May 2009

The UK Times has a post how Arnold is finished. Well, as governor of Cali… I would go that far. Ob gave him a hideout yesterday afternoon and night, however. And this am. And sad to say there a year and a half to go on his second term.

[M]r Schwarzenegger, for whom the dream of running for the White House — if a constitutional ban on foreign-born candidates could be overturned — once seemed plausible, now looks set to abandon mainstream politics once he leaves office in January 2011.

“Arnold’s governorship was supposed to be an action movie. Now it’s a disaster movie,” John Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College, told the Christian Science Monitor. …

It was never anything but a bully movie. With his crew of nazi bullet headed thugs.

9. marisacat - 20 May 2009

Cute little game MI5 has been playing. Can’t think we have passed it by…

Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

‘Work for us or we will say you are a terrorist’

By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Five Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants.

The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas.

They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson. Now they have decided to speak publicly about their experiences in the hope that publicity will stop similar tactics being used in the future. …

wu ming - 21 May 2009

this was a LOST plot point several years ago. apparently they’re not just cribbing from 24…

marisacat - 21 May 2009

But isn’t this always something that is in the works.. in this sort of situation. If an intell or police agency chooses to play it that way.

I mean – following an alternative common story, how much were the Newburgh 4 just malcontent bumblers who were possibly led along. Fun and games for a year (for the FBI and police), fake high level stakes and take down when it is CONVENIENT.

Synagogues and my goodness, shooting military planes down from the skies.

Rampant security forces. The sky’s the limit… as I see it.

10. marisacat - 21 May 2009

wow… just catching up with a business reporting program.. on PBS… and they are saying that the governmental agency “PPGC” Private Pension Guarantee Corp, that insures the private pension system is in a mess. 33 + billion in deficits.

Was anything run right?

11. marisacat - 21 May 2009


[O]bama yesterday invited to the White House leaders of about a dozen human and civil rights organizations as well as law professors. Administration participants in the 90-minute session included Holder, White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Several participants discussed the meeting on the condition of anonymity. One said Obama argued that there was no trade-off between American values and national security, but that GOP demagoguery in Congress was dominating the issue. Another said Obama seemed irritated that some of those who attended the meeting had recently compared his policies to those of Bush.

Anthony D. Romero, head of the American Civil Liberties Union, who has used that comparison, declined to discuss what Obama said but in an interview after the meeting repeated the comparison.

“President Obama’s decision to continue George Bush’s policies essentially means that they become his own,” Romero said. “And if he continues down this path, these policies will certainly become known in the history books as the Bush-Obama doctrine.” Romero described the discussion as “freewheeling” and said Obama was “clearly deeply steeped in the issues. But he had little interest in revisiting his recent decisions.” ..snip..

Good for Romero…

Madman in the Marketplace - 21 May 2009

So I’m sure Dkos will start attacking the ACLU the same way Red State etc do.

marisacat - 21 May 2009

Boston Globe had this from the meeting.. 😉

“I was a constitutional law scholar. Now I’m commander in chief,”

12. marisacat - 21 May 2009

Jason Ditz on cud the WH wants people to get busy chewing.

Good luck!

catnip - 21 May 2009

A plan that’s guaranteed to fail. How inventive of them.

13. marisacat - 21 May 2009

Continuing Jobless Claims Rise to 6.7M While New Claims Sink to 631,000

Madman in the Marketplace - 21 May 2009

that continuing number kind of stunned me when I heard it today … I don’t remember that number being given in the past, just the “new” claims.

Just think how many others don’t get counted.

marisacat - 21 May 2009

I just snicked this from amongst the garbled snark at The Cornerites… and right, it is just the numbers of those still measured.

Earlier in the morning, the Department of Labor reported that the number of people filing unemployment claims on an ongoing basis rose to a record high for the 16th straight week to reach 6.66 million [the job market of the beast, apparently], that 631,000 people filed new claims for jobless benefits in the week ended May 16, and that the percentage of unemployed who have been out of work for a long term was the highest since they started measuring 61 years ago.

Very slowly, those economic engines turn.

UPDATE: Somebody at the Congressional Budget Office didn’t get the memo about the engine turning: “The growth in output later this year and next year is likely to be sufficiently weak that the unemployment rate will probably continue to rise into the second half of next year and peak above 10 percent,” CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said in prepared testimony to the U.S. House Budget Committee.

14. BooHooHooMan - 21 May 2009

Psst. Hey guys. grab a couple a concrete blocks,
some wood and tar paper, Set something up all buildy-settlement like, take a few pics. Please be back for the Presser at 5. And make sure you return the material to the construction sites underway.

Why , thank you Isabel Kershner on this heartwarming story!

Israel Removes Illegal Settler Outpost in West Bank

Published: May 21, 2009

JERUSALEM — Israeli police and security forces on Thursday dismantled a small Jewish outpost in the West Bank in what many here saw as a gesture by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to President Obama days after their meeting in Washington.

No arrests were made at the illegal outpost, which consisted of a couple of concrete structures and several temporary shacks. Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said the timing of the action was not significant. Another small West Bank outpost was removed about two months ago, he said.

Oh sure, just Good Cops, policing up! Happens all the time!

But settler leaders and others saw Thursday’s evacuation as sending a political message. “It seems that this was done in order to throw a bone to the United States president,” Avi Roeh, the chairman of the local settler council, told Israel Radio.

Thanks Avi, ya local thugwhack.: “It seems that this was done in order to throw a bone to the United States president,”
Lawd knows you have enough bones laying around that land of God forsaken dirt…. Building on bones that are all part of the mortar mix. Cementing Israelis in bunker homes with their bunker mentalities..

15. marisacat - 21 May 2009

Here is a thought… Is the greatest moment of “bi partisanship” around the vote to Save Guantanamo! it?

90 to 6

16. marisacat - 21 May 2009

6000 words. That is Kerry territory. It really is.

[T]hese steps are all critical to keeping America secure. But I believe with every fiber of my being that in the long run we also cannot keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values. The documents that we hold in this very hall – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights –are not simply words written into aging parchment. They are the foundation of liberty and justice in this country, and a light that shines for all who seek freedom, fairness, equality and dignity in the world.

I stand here today as someone whose own life was made possible by these documents. My father came to our shores in search of the promise that they offered. My mother made me rise before dawn to learn of their truth when I lived as a child in a foreign land. My own American journey was paved by generations of citizens who gave meaning to those simple words – “to form a more perfect union.” I have studied the Constitution as a student; I have taught it as a teacher; I have been bound by it as a lawyer and legislator. I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief, and as a citizen, I know that we must never – ever – turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience sake. …

My mother made me rise before dawn to learn of their truth when I lived as a child in a foreign land.

He should stuff it with the baby shit. “When I was a baby…my mother sewed my diapers from specially treated bullrushes, the fish in the river helped her gather the reeds for my diapers.. she hid from the Roman guards patrolling the river and worked at night to make my fine diapers…”

we slowly, agonisingly, slide downward and he stuffs himself full — with stories of himself.

Full text, “as prepared for delivery”

catnip - 21 May 2009

He is truly in love with the idea of himself.

17. mattes - 21 May 2009

JON MEACHAM: Right, right. And his argument is, even if this fails, it will show that we have gone — we went as far as we could, and therefore we’ll have — hopefully we’ll have the world with us.

CHARLIE ROSE: Can make the case to the world we tried everything.


Meacham did no favors for Obama. What the hell. All icing on cake for pre-war maneuvers?

marisacat - 21 May 2009

Well the interview is in Newsweek. You can read ObRama’s sacred words himself. Michelle has a spread in TIME mag. Her words are there. None of it bodes well.

It would all be hilarious, how they are made into a medicinal paste that is rubbed all over everything… but for the WARS. The wars and the abandonment of people in this country make it evil.

Just my opinion.

mattes - 21 May 2009

GREAT article at Jim Lobe’s:

Ex-AIPACer Weissman comes out hard against military action in Iran


…veryveryvery interesting.

catnip - 21 May 2009

All icing on cake for pre-war maneuvers?

That was the impression I got. As long as they can say they did all they could (and that is highly debatable, isn’t it? – to that part of the public that actually cares about the Palestinians, at least) Netanyahu can bomb Iran with the full support of Obamalama and wash his hands of it while he sends more weapons over there.

mattes - 21 May 2009

I can only hope that’s Meacham wishful thinking.

marisacat - 21 May 2009

McChrystal, among so many other things, is not a good sign. In fact, McC is about the worst signal to send. In the q and a with Meacham he/Ob seems quite pleased to have his very own surge. No problem with that word at all.

mattes - 21 May 2009

McChrystal is the worst news, I agree.

I can only hope he was snuck in by neo-cons, and as his past actions come to light it will be reversed. But…losing hope.

marisacat - 21 May 2009

There is no sign of any of that. “…snuck in by neocons” or that as “past actions come to light…”. His last commission was held up in the senate due to the torture issues. But then swept away.

This is not news, it may be delivered to us as “news” but the people at the top know about it..

His is considered to have been an early adopter of the “Af-Pak” view, that the two are one battlefield.

Who’s been pushing that since the campaign?


McChrystal is part of a whole.

18. marisacat - 21 May 2009

Sully weighs in. He reprinted all 6k words too……………………

[T]his speech, to my mind, was a conservative one by a conservative president who seeks first and foremost to use existing institutions to address the new challenges of the moment, and then seeks pragmatic compromises, always open to future checks and balances, in those places where such institutions clearly need reform and adjustment.

I feel much more confidence now that victory – for both our system and the war against Jihadism – is possible. Civil liberties purists will quibble and fight. Cheney-dead-enders will continue to stoke fear and division. I think this is the right balance – and deserves our vocal and persistent support.

catnip - 21 May 2009

Yes, screw those civil liberties quibblers.

catnip - 21 May 2009

I can see why Sully approved now that I’ve listened to the speech. It certainly has a strong Father Knows Best tone to it.

marisacat - 21 May 2009

If he can’t have Reagan… and Thatcher no longer speaks, aside from not holding public office, he will have Ob.

Madman in the Marketplace - 21 May 2009

you either have a state where people have civil liberties, or you don’t. If only SOME people have full civil liberties, then the whole state lacks civil liberties. There is nothing “purist” about it. Was it “purist” to be against separate water fountains? Was it “purist” to be for suffrage, for women and minorities? Is it “purist” to insist that self-righteous wingers who like to “bottom” bareback should STILL have the right to marry like straight folk?


marisacat - 21 May 2009

well I missed this at the time… but it has been pointed out (with glee I might add) that Sully supported the Iraq War and called those who opposed it “fifth columnists”.

19. catnip - 21 May 2009

Because this is what so-called progressives should be concerned about:

Matt Yglesias:

Obama’s Pronunciations

I don’t have a problem with the fact that Barack Obama says “Pah-kee-stahn” when referring to the country to the west of India. Nor do I have a problem with the fact that Obama says “Afghanistan” in the customary American manner. But given that the two countries are adjacent to one another and often come up in the same speech, it’s really infuriating to see him offer the two pronunciations in tandem. If you’re going to say “Pah-kee-stahn” you should say “Af-gah-nee-stahn” and if you’re going to say “Afghanistan” you should say “Pakistan.”

That’s just how I feel.

catnip - 21 May 2009

And, can I just add, that was one LONG, fucking speech. he must be feeling guilty.

marisacat - 21 May 2009

I think he tried to appeal to the ersatz inner academic in his followers. Or soemthing. It played well with pundits. Fallowes over at the Atlantic, among others, is in full pre orgasmic mode. I have not looked in on The New Republic yet… LOL…

marisacat - 21 May 2009

I think on Pahkeestahn he is mimic-ing Holbrooke. what a shame.

There is a whole list of countries that might get some reformation of pronunciation, if he is going to bother with Pahkeestahn.

How silly that is, does he want it to sound more foreign as we ‘bombs away’ it?

catnip - 21 May 2009

It’s all very arugula. You can take the man out of Harvard but you can’t take the Harvard out of the man.

20. catnip - 21 May 2009

HuffPo has the video of the Commander-in-Chiefyness’ speech.

21. marisacat - 21 May 2009

Froomkin likes to be connected to earth, apparently. Not a committed imperialist maybe…

[W]hen it came to what to do with the detainees at Guantanamo, he declared that he would work to create a system that would enable the indefinite detention without trial for a limited number of people whom the government is unable to prosecute for past crimes, but whom are nevertheless considered to be threats to the country. Even though he spoke of establishing lawful standards and periodic reviews, that’s a dangerously extreme policy proposal. He once again expressed his intention to use a reformed military commission process for some detainees — but gave no reason to think it won’t run into many of the same legal challenges that Bush’s process did. He spoke of sending many detainees to face trial in federal courts — but then promised that no one would be released who endangers our national security. The whole point of a fair judicial system is that the executive can’t guarantee the results.

Obama spoke passionately about his commitment to transparency, but offered up the same lousy and unpersuasive excuses he did last week for his decision to fight the court-ordered release of more photos of prison abuse. In particular, the weight he put on his responsibility not to release information that would inflame our enemies was deeply disturbing.

He offered no additional clarity regarding his position on the state secrets doctrine, where his lofty promises still stand in dramatic conflict with what his administration is actually doing.

And in continuing to oppose the creation of an independent commission that would fully investigate the abuses of the Bush administration, he marginalized those of us who want to find out what happened as polarizers, much like those who continue to doggedly defend Bush policies. He said the recent debate has obscured the truth — when all we want is to let it free.

On the mark, imo.

I carried over one of the several embedded links, see above. It is Froomkin on state secrets, some background, plus what Ob and his DOJ are doing.

Here is the problem. The Global War on Terror, which is a war of US military terror on whomever we choose, has the capacity to go forever. Or until the nation crashes. No president is going to UNDO whatever the last did. All any president, his versions of Rove and Feith, Condi, Cambone, Addington, Rham, Hillary, Holbrooke, Jones and Axelrod will do is build on it.

Good luck.

Kiss the republic goodbye. It is gone, whatever we had of it. I see small sprinkles, momentos, from the federal courts.. but it seems thin.

22. marisacat - 21 May 2009

Another thing… Tapper’s site has a thorough debunking of the ‘Moussaoui was the 20th hijacker’. And the tick tock of all the unmasking of that.

Then Ob pushes it again today.

The Moussaoui Narrative: Was Obama Misled by Myth Cheney Helped Propagate?

May 21, 2009 3:18 PM

ABC News’ Jason Ryan reports:

President Obama appears to have been duped by a myth Dick Cheney helped circulate one month after the 9/11 attacks, that Zacarias Moussaoui was the 20th hijacker.

While Moussaoui would like people to believe this, there’s reason to question the theory that then-Vice President Cheney helped gain traction.

One month after the 9/11 attacks, Cheney told PBS in an interview that “there’s been speculation, for example, that one of the individuals — one of the crews that they put on the airplanes only had four men on instead of five. We think we may have that individual in custody, but we don’t know for sure. It’s one of the individuals who were arrested up in Minnesota earlier this year in August.”

In his speech today, President Obama continued to circulate this myth, even after the 9/11 Commission and Moussaoui’s own trial proved otherwise.

“Zacarias Moussaoui has been identified as the twentieth 9/11 hijacker,” Obama said Thursday, making the case that terrorists are secure in U.S. prisons.


catnip - 21 May 2009

I wonder if Tapper is being tutored by Helen Thomas. 😉

marisacat - 21 May 2009

well he has been a contrarian for some time.

He did a great interview with Kos about … 3 years ago iirc, interviewed him in the new house, by hte Boesendorfer. The look on Tapper’s face is priceless. You can tell he is barely concealing he thinks Kos is a freaking nut.

23. marisacat - 21 May 2009


I AGREE with an apologist for the Holy Roman Church.. Whoo eee!

[A]fter reaffirming that the Vatican newspaper shares the American bishops’ staunch opposition to abortion, Vian [Giavonni Maria Vian, editor-in-chief of L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper] went further.

“What I want to stress is that yesterday, on this precise and very delicate issue, the President said that the approval of the new law on abortion is not a priority of his administration. The fact that he said that is very reassuring to me. It also underlines my own clear belief: Obama is not a pro-abortion president.” …

24. marisacat - 21 May 2009

Norman Solomon… poor sod. He endorsed Ob. Late and grudging but he did it. Whatever will he say come 2011/2012. (Let’s keep trying!)

Now, as during the escalation of the Vietnam War – despite all the front-paged articles and news bulletins emphasizing line items for civic aid from Washington – the spending for US warfare in Afghanistan is overwhelmingly military.

Perhaps overeager to assume that the context of bombing campaigns ordered by President Obama is humanitarian purpose, many Americans of antiwar inclinations have yet to come to terms with central realities of the war effort – for instance, the destructive trajectory of the budgeting for the war, which spends ten dollars toward destruction for every dollar spent on humanitarian programs.

From the top of the current administration – as the US troop deployments in Afghanistan continue to rise along with the American airstrike rates – there is consistent messaging about the need to “stay the course,” even while bypassing such tainted phrases. …

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 May 2009

Video: Brief History of Weed

It’s a viral ad for a TV show, but anything that pokes holes in the drug war myths is okay in my book.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 May 2009

a friend sent me this: Feds: “It’s Hard To Envision A More Chilling Plot” Than One Involving Stoner And Schizophrenic

Calling the men “amateurs every step of the way,” the AP reports:

Relatives said the defendants were down-on-their-luck men who worked at places like Wal-Mart, a landscaping company and a warehouse when they weren’t behind bars. Payen’s lawyer said he was “intellectually challenged” and on medication for schizophrenia. Marilyn Reader said he has “a very low borderline” IQ.

Payen, 27, did time for attempted assault — in 2002, he and others fired a BB gun out an SUV window, hitting two people in the head. He snatched purses from two women later the same day, said state Division of Parole spokeswoman Heather Groll.

OMG … scary bunch!!!!

So, do you think the FBI is going to start pushing informants to start hanging out in redneck bars, looking for well armed wingers talking about bombing federal buildings or killing park service workers or IRS agents?

No, I didn’t either, even though THOSE people are already heavily armed.

27. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 May 2009
28. marisacat - 21 May 2009

oh btw, the evening news here reported that crowd control barriers were dropped off by the State Supreme Court building today. So… the guess is a decision on Prop 8/SSM tomorrow.

I was very disheartened listening to the case a few months ago, because until it rolled out I had high hopes…. And I noticed that a young lesbian atty in the City Atty’s office here began to weep quietly in court.

But who nkows what the justices came to finally. Mysteries…

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 May 2009

Ana Marie Cox Calls Out Gibbs Again On Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Progress

She actually pushes him on it pretty effectively.

30. marisacat - 21 May 2009

Oh this gave me a laugh (a snicker really)

The Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner said that President Obama “wrapped himself in the Constitution and then proceeded to violate it by announcing he would send people before irredeemably flawed military commissions and seek to create a preventive detention scheme that only serves to move Guantanamo to a new location and give it a new name.”

He’s overdressed. Wrapped himself first in the CROSS and then the FLAG and now the CONSTITUTION.


31. marisacat - 21 May 2009

I see Baucus ran from single-payer activists… LOL. Gotta love it. Big ”D” Democrats, certainly not small ”d” democrats.

Baucus Flees From Single Payer Advocates

Single Payer Action: “Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) drove up to the Kaiser Family Foundation in downtown Washington, DC, this morning. His initial idea – park on G Street in front of the office building – and walk in the front door to meet reporters gathered inside. But activists from Single Payer Action were out front, waiting to question Baucus about why, over the past two weeks, he ordered thirteen of them arrested, handcuffed, and charged with ‘disruption of Congress.'”

According to a recent analysis by the group Consumer Watchdog, Senator Baucus, the leading architect of health reform in the Congress, has received more campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations than any other current Democratic member of the House or Senate.

According to the report, Senator Baucus received $183,750 from health insurance companies and $229,020 from drug companies in the last two election cycles.

During recent Senate Finance Committee hearings on health care reform, Baucus has refused to allow even one person to testify on behalf of a single payer health care system.

Madman in the Marketplace - 22 May 2009

oh, too funny. Too bad he’ll just take more contributions and screw the country over anyway.

I love that they chased him.

marisacat - 22 May 2009

yes his car ducked into an alley with a back entrance to Kaiser… the security rolled up a metal garage door for his car…. but the demonstrators got to it and asked him to open his window and speak to them… LOL he shook his head no and the car darted into the garage and security lowered the metal door.



32. catnip - 21 May 2009

And he has a wagging finger too:

A US troop build-up in Afghanistan could push Taliban fighters deeper into Pakistan, further destabilising it, the most senior US commander has warned.

Admiral Michael Mullen, who chairs the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was speaking at a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington.

Not to worry. That’s what the drones are for. Kill ’em all. Sort it out later.

33. catnip - 21 May 2009

Run away! Run away!

Edward Liddy, the finance industry executive brought out of retirement by the US government to run the nationalised insurer AIG, is to quit as soon as a replacement can be found, foregoing the chance of being paid for his work.

After eight months at the centre of political rows and public opprobrium over the spiralling cost of the AIG bail-out, Mr Liddy said last night he wanted to go back into retirement.

His departure leaves the Obama administration with the headache of filling one of the toughest jobs in the government-controlled sector of the finance industry, or more accurately, two of the toughest jobs, since Mr Liddy recommended that AIG split the roles of chairman and chief executive.

In the spirit of almighty bipartisanship, please choose 2 Republicans, Obamalama. What could go wrong??

How about Romney? He seems bored lately.

Cheney? He could use a new hobby.

marisacat - 21 May 2009

His departure leaves the Obama administration with the headache of filling one of the toughest jobs in the government-controlled sector of the finance industry, or more accurately, two of the toughest jobs, since Mr Liddy recommended that AIG split the roles of chairman and chief executive.

Good luck! At least Treasury and NEC and West Wing is a dept of Wall St.

34. catnip - 21 May 2009

It’s all so proper…lol:

RI rep.: Bush should be waterboarded for charity

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Democratic lawmaker says he’ll donate $100 to charity for every second former President George W. Bush withstands waterboarding.

State Rep. Rod Driver sent letters making the offer to Bush as well as to former Vice President Dick Cheney and ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Bush’s administration allowed the interrogation technique, which simulates drowning, to be used on terrorism suspects. Driver says if Bush is confident it isn’t torture, he should try it himself. His offer was reported Thursday in The Westerly Sun.

A representative for Rice said she would not participate, [it as a legitimate request then? like tea with the Queen? -catnip] while Bush’s and Cheney’s offices did not return calls seeking comment.

Cheney has defended waterboarding, saying it yielded important information.

35. catnip - 21 May 2009

AP poll: Most students stressed, some depressed

In other news: Sky blue, grass green

36. catnip - 21 May 2009

Obama administration sides with Bush officials against outed CIA agent

The Obama administration has decided to oppose the reinstatement of a civil lawsuit filed by outed CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

The move represents the first public position by the administration on the issue. Obama’s position mirrors that of President George W. Bush, whose aides found themselves in the cross-fire after the agent, Plame Wilson, was outed by conservative columnist Robert Novak.

A Washington, D.C. district court dismissed the suit — Wilson v. Libby et al. — which posited that key Bush and Cheney officials violated the constitutional rights of Plame and her husband, a former ambassador. Those sued included former Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and Richard Armitage for their gross violations of the Wilsons’ constitutional rights, as well as “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff who was convicted of obstruction of justice in the case.

Obama’s Justice Department says the Wilsons have no legitimate claim to sue. They also put forward another startling claim.

“The Obama administration has gone one step further, suggesting Mr. Wilson failed to provide any evidence that Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rove or Mr. Libby harmed him,” Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility reported on their blog Wednesday. “This is particularly ironic because the government had moved to have the case dismissed before the Wilsons had the opportunity to uncover the details of how Ms. Wilson’s covert identity was revealed.


Obama: So…how do you like me so far?

marisacat - 21 May 2009

Obama’s Justice Department says the Wilsons have no legitimate claim to sue. They also put forward another startling claim. …

oh what a scream!

I could care less about Wilson and his wife… but what will the Dem blogs who screamed for years over Wilson say. “Never heard of them”..? “In Ob We Trust” ..?

What will emptywheel and FDL and all the loyals do.

I suspect a few days of loyal opposition low yelling and then “let’s move on”. They have a nation to save afterall.

catnip - 21 May 2009

It’s all about looking forward…she said, to the sound of distant heads exploding.

37. catnip - 21 May 2009

This one’s actually worth reading: Obama reserving the right to torture? Non-denial denial from White House

Not that I thought Obamalama had completely given up the power to torture but that spells it out.

38. marisacat - 21 May 2009

There is a story around town that Gavin Newsom has called the Ca Supreme Court and asked them to delay their decision on Prop 8 to next week.

Otherwise the release of the decision would be on the anniversary of the “White Night Riots”… when Dan White was found not guilty.

So from the above, which is a story at this point (denied by Gavin) the other word around town is that the Supremes have found for upholding Prop 8

39. marisacat - 22 May 2009

oopsie. the NYT economics reporter, in excerpt and in a “tell all” book on how he took some mortgage and debt fliers (and lived to write a book about it!)..

…was, ooopsie whoopsie poopsie… not telling all. The boychicks at Clusterstock drew from Megan McArdle’s original reporting at the Atlantic.

Gosh and they were such nice, white and polite people in their rather cramped looking somewhat colonial. And they had just started (that I have caught) giving interviews together.

40. marisacat - 22 May 2009

LOL Via Politico/Ben Smith

Rahm’s threat

New York’s City Hall News reports that President Obama’s request that Steve Israel stand down from a New York Senate primary was accompanied by blunter words from Rahm:

According to several sources familiar with the conversation, the White House chief of staff made it very clear to Israel that the administration didn’t want him to run and that they would use their considerable political might to insure his defeat if he did.

Among other things, Emanuel reportedly told Israel that President Obama. himself would campaign against Israel throughout the black neighborhoods of New York City if Israel went forward with his primary campaign. …

catnip - 22 May 2009

democracy – what a concept.

41. catnip - 22 May 2009

Disney’s Robobama

“…we had made him better-looking than he was.”

BooHooHooMan - 22 May 2009

Axelrod works for Disney?

42. catnip - 22 May 2009

TARP Warrants Shows Banks May Reap ‘Ruthless Bargain’

May 22 (Bloomberg) — Banks negotiating to reclaim stock warrants they granted in return for Troubled Asset Relief Program money may shortchange taxpayers by almost $10 billion if Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s first sale sets the pace, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

While 17 financial institutions have repaid TARP funds, only two have come to terms with the U.S. on the value of the rights to buy stock that taxpayers received for the risk of recapitalizing the industry. The first was Old National Bancorp in Evansville, Indiana, which gave the Treasury Department $1.2 million last week for warrants that may have been worth $5.81 million, according to the data.

If Geithner makes the same deal for all companies in the rescue program, lenders may walk away with 80 percent of profits taxpayers might have claimed.

“For once we’d like to get a fair value when we come into contact with the banking system,” said Representative Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat and chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of House Science and Technology Committee. “We don’t want a ruthless bargain.”

Under the Old National warrants formula, Bank of America Corp. would save $2.03 billion, followed by Wells Fargo & Co. at $1.48 billion and JPMorgan Chase & Co. at $1.46 billion. Morgan Stanley’s benefit would be $983 million, Citigroup Inc.’s would come in at $965 million and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. would have $693 million, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg.

43. catnip - 22 May 2009

Bill in Congress Would Make 2010 ‘The Year of the Bible’

But the truly funny thing is that we have already had a “Year of the Bible.” It was 1983, when then President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5018, which stated:

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in recognition of the contribution and influence of the Bible on our Republic and our people, do hereby proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible in the United States.

Oh well. Maybe Broun will consider renaming the resolution “Year of the Bible 2”.

44. catnip - 22 May 2009

Ooops. The Denver Post ran a story about the various and sundry high profile inmates currently housed at the Supermax in Florence – including John Gotti. One little problem: he died in 2002.

45. catnip - 22 May 2009

Quite the difference:

Canada can afford further economic stimulus, The International Monetary Fund said Friday, citing the country’s relatively low debt levels.

“With debt low, Canada would be well positioned to participate in a globally coordinated round of further stimulus,” the IMF said in its annual review of the country’s economy. “Further fiscal expansion would not put at risk debt sustainability, in view of the credible commitment to medium-term structural surpluses.”

Canada’s debt will equal 29.1 per cent of gross domestic product next year, the lowest level in the Group of Seven major industrial countries, according to the IMF.

By comparison, Britain’s debt load will be almost 67 per cent next year and the United States’ will be 70.4 per cent.

BooHooHooMan - 22 May 2009

C’mon catnip. Get up off some money. LOL.

catnip - 22 May 2009

Screw you. It’s all safely tucked away in my toque!


46. marisacat - 22 May 2009



…………… 🙄 ……………

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