Sunday, May 31, 2009

Did We Turn The Clock Back? The Hate Has Returned!

I thought the hatred and terrorism of the 1990's was over and we had gotten past this. But this morning it came back.

I remember during the campaign Brian Williams asked Sarah Palin if she thought a person who bombed an Abortion Clinic was a Domestic Terrorist. She would never really answer. Well I guess she has a chance again. It wasn't a bomb but we had a doctor murdered today. At church, of all places.

From the "Wichita Eagle":

President Obama said this afternoon that he was "shocked and outraged" by the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller, who was shot while attending church in east Wichita.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said at a news conference late this afternoon that a suspect in the shooting was in custody and on his way back to Wichita.

"However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence," the president said in a statement issued by the White House.

The rest of the article can be accessed through the link above and has some biographical information about Dr. Tiller that is worth noting and a statement from his family.

Dr. George Tiller, 67 in the vestibule of the church waiting to perform his duties as usher, his wife in the choir, was shot once and killed this morning, while 3 or 4 others were standing nearby. According to the police no one else was injured, however when they tried to detain the suspect they were threatened and so were forced to let him go.

They did manage to get the license number and a description of the vehicle, and the shooter and so the police was able to identify the suspect and get out a bulletin and apprehend him fairly quickly. He was picked up in Johnson County, Kansas with no problems. He is 51 years old, and his name is Scott Roeder, but not much more is known at this time.

This is just not good folks. We don't need the hate. As Pres. Obama said when he was at Notre Dame, we can find common ground on this sensitive subject. There is no need for this.

Dr. Tiller has been the subject of many attacks before, mostly because he does procedures that a lot of doctors won't do. He performs some late term abortions when the mothers life is in jeopardy and has caught a lot of heat for that. He has been investigated many times and every time has come out clean. The most recent in March of this year.

Bill O'Reilly has been after him and called him terrible names, and riles up the hatred even more. This can only lead to problems when this happens. Here is what Sully's take on all of the O'Reilly mess including video's.

On Friday, November 3, 2006, Bill O'Reilly featured an exclusive segment on his show, The O'Reilly Factor, saying that he has an "inside source" with official clinic documentation indicating that George Tiller performs late-term abortions to alleviate "temporary depression" in the pregnant woman. According to reporting data provided to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts for the year 1998, all of the post-viable partial-birth (dilation and extraction) abortion procedures performed in Kansas during that year were performed because "the attending physician believe[d] that continuing the pregnancy [would] constitute a substantial and irreversible impairment of the patient's mental function." Tiller responded to O'Reilly's statements by demanding an investigation into the "inside source" through which the information was leaked, suggesting that Phill Kline, then the Kansas Attorney General, was responsible. Kline denied the charge.

Phill Kline has since been discredited and ran out of office in Kansas. This became a vendetta for him, to prove that Dr. Tiller and Planned Parenthood was doing something wrong and it ended up costing him. He is now disgraced and barely able to show his face in public.

Please go to Sully's site, and watch the video's. I believe he truly bears some responsibility for the hatred that is out there. All these right wing talkers can't keep this nonsense going and not bear some of it. It just has to matter. Between them and the preachers spouting off all the time.

I could go on, but I think I have done enough. Another place to go read to get another perspective is Shannyn Moore's blog, Just a Girl From Homer. Of course, she has Teh Crazy near her with her Governor Palin anyway...and she has some really wacky preachers up there too. So Shannyn has been dealing with some issues lately and this is just one more.

Let me hear how you feel. Good, Bad, Angry, Sad, Scared...whatever.. Let me hear from you..

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Military Commissions Act, Is there a Pardon in it?

When BushCo had Congress pass the War Crimes Act in Sept. 2006, was there a little known amendment in it about pardoning him and all the cronies of all crimes back to Sept. 11, 2001?

Watch this video then I will show you what I am talking about.

This is from Wikipedia:

Protections from criminal and civil prosecutions for previous instances of alleged torture
Two provisions of the MCA have been criticized for allegedly making it harder to prosecute and convict officers and employees of the US government for misconduct in office.
First, the MCA changed the definition of war crimes for which US government defendants can be prosecuted. Under the War Crimes Act of 1996, any violation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions was considered a war crime and could be criminally prosecuted. Section 6 of the Military Commissions Act amended the War Crimes Act so that only actions specifically defined as "grave breaches" of Common Article 3 could be the basis for a prosecution, and it made that definition retroactive to November 26, 1997. The specific actions defined in section 6 of the Military Commissions Act include torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily harm, rape, sexual assault or abuse, and the taking of hostages. According to Mariner of Human Rights Watch, the effect is "that perpetrators of several categories of what were war crimes at the time they were committed, can no longer be punished under U.S. law."[32] The Center for Constitutional Rights adds:
The MCA’s restricted definitions arguably would exempt certain U.S. officials who have implemented or had command responsibility for coercive interrogation techniques from war crimes prosecutions.
. . . .
This amendment is designed to protect U.S. government perpetrators of abuses during the "war on terror" from prosecution.[33]
In 2005, a provision of the Detainee Treatment Act (section 1004(a)) had created a new defense as well as a provision to providing counsel for agents involved in the detention and interrogation of individuals “believed to be engaged in or associated with international terrorist activity”. The 2006 MCA amended section 1004(a) of the Detainee Treatment Act to guarantee free counsel in the event of civil or criminal prosecution and applied the above mentioned legal defense to prosecutions for conduct that occurred during the period September 11, 2001 to December 30, 2005. Although the provision recognizes the possibility of civil and or criminal proceedings, the Center for Constitutional Rights has criticised this claiming that "The MCA retroactively immunizes some U.S. officials who have engaged in illegal actions which have been authorized by the Executive."

I am not a lawyer, and not very smart.. and these things worry me. They were snuck in and not very many people were even aware of them. This happens in bills all the time and they get passed.

I think someone needs to really check into it and see what it means and if there is a real problem here or if I and others who have heard about this now are just being paranoid.

We were so totally screwed over the last 8 years of the Bush Mis-Administration, this just adds one more instance of it. This bill, also known as HR-6166 was signed into law on October 17, 2006.

I hope everyone reads the entire bill or law, and gives your opinion of it. I am really confused and would just like to know exactly where we stand on this.

Gore v Cheney, Media Bias Confirmed

Eric Boehlert, from Media Matters has a great piece up examining the differences in media coverage from Al Gore and Dick Cheney.

Al Gore waited almost two years after the election before he ever spoke out about Bush and Cheney and what they were doing in trying to take the country to war in Iraq. Before that, the only thing he had ever said was one speech he gave saying we needed to stand behind them on Sept. 12, 2001.

But, Eric can say it much better than I. Here is what he says and he gives great examples from all the papers.

Cheney, in the eyes of the press, wasn't a sore loser unable to accept the Republicans' shellacking at the polls last November. Instead, he had emerged as "perhaps the leading Republican voice against President Obama," according to The New York Times. Cheney's May 21 speech at the American Enterprise Institute "crackled with intensity" and represented "a remarkably focused, blistering attack," claimed Gerald Seib in The Wall Street Journal. And The Washington Post's Dana Milbank cheered that "Dick Cheney came out swinging" and was "winning this fight" with Obama over national security


But go back to the fall of 2002 and look at how media elites reacted when Al Gore made a public speech raising doubts about how and why the Bush administration was rallying the country for war with Iraq. Of course, unlike Cheney, Gore thought it was his duty as a former VP to give the new administration plenty of time and space to operate, which was why Gore waited nearly two years before airing concerns of any kind in a public forum on September 23, 2002.

And how did Beltway pundits repay Gore for showing a type of class and respect that Cheney has managed to assiduously avoid in 2009? At The Washington Post, star columnist and Beltway big shot Michael Kelly acted as though Gore's war skepticism was a crime against humanity.

The "formerly important Al Gore," Kelly sneered in print, "cannot be considered a responsible aspirant to power" because with his Iraq speech, the former VP had "placed himself beyond that pale."


"It was dishonest, cheap, low. It was hollow. It was bereft of policy, of solutions, of constructive ideas, very nearly of facts -- bereft of anything other than taunts and jibes and embarrassingly obvious lies. It was breathtakingly hypocritical, a naked political assault delivered in tones of moral condescension from a man pretending to be superior to mere politics. It was wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible."

Kelly was plain: Gore's performance was a disgraceful spectacle given by a hollow, empty man.

Wow, that's about as harsh as it could be. They really didn't pull any punches did they? Remember this was a former Vice President they were talking about. I have not seen anyone, anywhere, say anything like this about Dickless in the 4 months he has been talking. Oh, maybe Lawrence O'Donnell, or someone like that, but then you get a right wing hack on right beside him saying he is crazy or tearing him apart.

But, Eric isn't done yet. Let's go on.

Charles Krauthammer agreed: "It was a disgrace -- a series of cheap shots strung together without logic or coherence." Gore was an intellectually "thin" and "cynical" man whose speech was "brazen" in its wrong-headedness.

And the Post was hardly alone in piling on the invective. Jonathan Shapiro, an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California law school, mocked the former VP in a Los Angeles Daily News op-ed for his "shrill campaign speech masquerading as a foreign policy address." New York Times columnist William Safire labeled the effort a "self-contradictory pushmipullyu of a speech." Writer and war cheerleader Andrew Sullivan dubbed Gore a "pure opportunist" for voicing his misgivings about the war. (Of course, unlike Cheney, Gore the "opportunist" wasn't shopping around a memoir to publishers while he was conducting a PR campaign.) And in a disdainful editorial, the pro-war New Republic belittled Gore's speech for being a misguided rhetorical mess.

The cool kids in the press agreed: Gore had flopped.


Of course, we all understand today that with the concerns he raised about the administration not having a fully thought-out plan to deal with a post-invasion Iraq, not bringing together a large international coalition, and diverting key resources away from the war on terror being fought in Afghanistan, Gore was pretty much right about everything back in 2002.


And more important, the press has refused to put Cheney's ongoing anti-Obama smear campaign into any kind of historical perspective. It has also rushed to protect Cheney from those White House meanies in a way that reporters and pundits never dreamed of doing on behalf of Gore. The Village first came to Cheney's aid back in March, when White House press secretary Robert Gibbs referred to the former VP as a member of the GOP "cabal."

Not cool, the press announced. Definitely not cool.

But why had Gibbs even made the "cabal" crack in the first place? Because Cheney, in an extraordinarily loaded and incendiary allegation, claimed Obama was making America less safe. That kind of rhetoric, the press had no problem with. Instead, journalists simply reported it as breaking news. (Image if Gore had had the gall to make that claim vs. the still-green President Bush in March 2001. The Democrat would have had to enter a witness protection program to avoid the media attacks.)

Reporters then asked Gibbs for a response, and when Gibbs dismissed Cheney with the "cabal" quote, that's when the press pool rose up in anger. That's when the press morphed into the etiquette police and announced that that kind of language was beyond the pale. Clearly rattled, MSNBC's Beltway tip sheet, First Read, wondered if Gibbs' "open disdain" for Cheney was "acceptable" to Obama. ABC's The Note also reached for the smelling salts: "Wow -- we're talking about the former vice president here."

CBS' Chip Reid seemed appalled as well and demanded a clarification from Gibbs:

"Can I ask you, when you referred to the former vice president, that was a really hard-hitting, kind of sarcastic response you had. This is a former vice president of the United States. Is that the attitude -- is that the sanctioned tone toward the former vice president of the United States from this White House now?"
Got that? Weeks into Obama's first term, when Cheney claimed Democrats were making America less safe (and doing it for political reasons), the Beltway press bubble was mostly silent in terms of condemning it, or even raising eyebrows about it. But when Gibbs tossed out the throwaway line mocking Cheney, the press recoiled in horror.

We saw the same knee-jerk media response last week, as at least one White House reporter raised objections that the administration had taken a "swipe" at Cheney because Gibbs had jokingly noted that these days, Cheney had a lot of time on his hands.

Yet, the sitting Vice President is mocked, belittled and poked at all the time if he says a word wrong. But Dickless can say yes, I broke the law, I had people killed through torture, and it is okay, the media will defend him.

Al Gore, former VP, is now a Nobel Prize winner, Academy Award winner, Emmy Winner and some what of a VIP in his own right, gets mocked when he spoke, and even now does not get the respect he has so rightly earned.

Here is the final bit from the post.

By the way, how did Republican officials respond to Gore's Iraq war critique in September 2002? What kind of rhetoric did they use to describe the former VP? They called him an "irrelevant" "political hack."

The press' response to that kind of GOP name-calling? Radio silence. Nobody, as far as I can tell, asked if that kind of talk was acceptable despite the fact that, wow, we're talking about the former vice president here. I suspect the (pro-war) press didn't object to Republicans' labeling Gore a "hack" in 2002 because so many Beltway scribes agreed with the assessment.

Oh, and how did television news cover the Cheney and Gore speeches? Of course, cable news provided roadblock coverage for Cheney last week, placing him right up on the same news-making pinnacle as the POTUS. But back in 2002, when Gore stepped forward as the most high-profile Democrat to raise doubts about war in Iraq, the cable outlets refused to grant Gore the same type of coverage.

And in terms of the nightly network news programs, Cheney grabbed top billing following his national security (pro-torture?) speech last week. But please note that the World News Tonight report on Gore's September 23, 2002, anti-war speech was buried mid-broadcast. The dispatch ran 43 words in its entirety:

Why? Because Gore, the has-been, was a "disgrace" when he tried to butt in about the Iraq war, according to the press corps -- the same press pack that awarded Cheney such high marks last week.

President Obama Wants a Few Minutes

President Obama wants to talk to you a few minutes about Judge Sonya Sotomayor.

I hope you will listen to what he has to say. If more people would really listen to him, instead of just making fun of him, or hating him because of his skin color, his differences or the fact that he is a Democrat, they might find out he is better than they thought.

His approval ratings are still running at 65% according to Gallup. That has been the average since January. He is the highest since Reagan, and the 4th highest since WWII. Only Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, and John Kennedy had higher ratings than President Obama at this point in their presidency.

With all the negativity from the Republicans and all the constant push back from the far right it is a testament to his ability to keep his composure and keep his focus on the positive.

I am sure this next week will prove interesting, Pres. Obama is going back to Europe and is going to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I am certain there will be all kinds of things he does wrong while he is there.

But, before he goes, here he is, giving his words of wisdom and his voice to his choice for the Supreme Court of the United States, Sonya Sotomayor.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Keith Olberman, Blast from the Past, Thoughts about Obama/BushCo

Something to think about, to get your anger going again, to help you focus, so you will remember what we need to be writing those emails or making those phone calls about.

This was almost 2 years ago. Sept. 11, 2007. But, the message is the same today as it was then, as it was everyday until Jan. 20, 2009 at 11:59 AM, then things changed. But up until then, this is what we faced.

But just because things are different now, doesn't mean we can stop believing, stop paying attention, or stop holding his feet to the fire on things. We still have to make sure things are done as we believe he has promised them to be.

We have to hold his feet to the fire to make sure things are done, correctly, most especially. That's where things failed, before. No one, NO ONE, held BushCo's feet to the fire and made sure they were doing things legally and morally correct. They just turned their backs and let them go.

Then after they realized what they had done, they had the attorneys draw up the memos and say it was okay, we have proof from the attorneys, they say it is legal.

And most people thought that was enough, and the ones who tried to question it were shouted down, insulted and threatened with jail time, if they dared to speak out. Or, in the case of a few, some tried to run you out of Business.

During a London, England concert ten days before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, lead vocalist Maines said, "we don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas" (the Dixie Chicks' home state). The statement offended people who thought it rude and unpatriotic, and the ensuing controversy cost the group half of their concert audience attendance in the United States and led to accusations of the three women being un-American, as well as hate mail, a death threat, and the destruction of their albums in protest.

All because they spoke out, and it scared people, and they refused to criticize BushCo after that for the most part. That's what got us into the mess we are in. Everyone became afraid of being called "traitors" or "Un-American", or aiding the enemy.

Even the media, were afraid to speak out, that's why so many things happened and BushCo was able to get by with Torture, Shredding the Constitution, Eavesdropping on everyone, Blacklisting people, more or less anything they wanted to do and NO ONE called them on it.

Oh there were protests, but it was never enough, and for the most part we were ignored as a bunch of lefties just being left wingers. Peaceniks. Protesting the war, that's what those lefties do.

Now, we must stand together again. This time to support our President, not to just let him do whatever he wants, but to keep him honest, to hold his feet to the fire and make sure he does what needs to be done. To make sure he stays on the path he and we have laid out together and doesn't get distracted like BushCo allowed themselves to do.

We have to make sure our President stays true to his beliefs and stays true to the Constitution, and to help us prosecute those who tried so hard to destroy it before. No matter who they were, be they Democrat or Republican.

But it is up to us, all of us, to hold him and our selves to that standard that we have set. It is up to us to make it happen. No one else is going to do it, if we don't get involved it's not going to happen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In 2004 Seymour Hersh Told a Story, But No One Listened

Now, everyone is clambering about it and blaming Pres. Obama for not releasing the pictures. They seem to think he is wrong, but do not want to take the blame for covering up the story they refused to cover 5 years ago.

I tried to ask Jake Tapper today about it on Twitter, but he refused to even answer me. Mark Knoller same thing. They were too busy yelling at Robert Gibbs for telling them not to believe everything they read in the British tabloid papers.

However the story is out there about some of the pictures that are purported to show the rape of children and women being among the ones that Pres. Obama decided not to release.

These were referenced in an interview that Seymour Hersh did on July 15, 2004 while speaking with the ACLU. Some of what he said was recorded but the recordings are not linkable now.

This is a partial transcript from BoingBoing as follows:

" Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

Then there was this from Geraldine Sealey @ Salon who wrote this:

After Donald Rumsfeld testified on the Hill about Abu Ghraib in May, there was talk of more photos and video in the Pentagon's custody more horrific than anything made public so far. "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse," Rumsfeld said. Since then, the Washington Post has disclosed some new details and images of abuse at the prison. But if Seymour Hersh is right, it all gets much worse. (...)
Notes from a similar speech Hersh gave in Chicago in June were posted on Brad DeLong's blog. Rick Pearlstein, who watched the speech, wrote: "[Hersh] said that after he broke Abu Ghraib people are coming out of the woodwork to tell him this stuff. He said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, 'You haven't begun to see evil...' then trailed off. He said, 'horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.' He looked frightened."

There are several questions here: Has Hersh actually seen the video he described to the ACLU, and why hasn't he written about it yet? Will he be forced to elaborate in more public venues now that these two speeches are getting so much attention, at least in the blogosphere? And who else has seen the video, if it exists -- will journalists see and report on it? did senators see these images when they had their closed-door sessions with the Abu Ghraib evidence? -- and what is being done about it?

One of the things referenced was the Taguba Report. Also that is the name of the retired officer who is quoted in the Telegraph article that Gibbs is dissing today. Here are some of the things they are quoting, still from 2004.

This makes me think there is something to the story, which I stated right at the time I thought may be the reason Pres. Obama decided NOT to release the pictures. At the time he stated he was going to, he was being told that there was nothing in those pictures, then he saw them, and he found out what was really there.

After seeing them, he realized he couldn't let them out as long as there are military in harms way, as long as he is still trying to heal what BushCo has screwed up so royally. Yeah, I know all the arguments. Get them out so everyone can see them, but I am sorry, why inflame tensions any more than needed?

Here is what they point out about this report, "What most of us have seen of the report are excerpts from the 50-page summary. In fact, there are well over 6,000 pages in the report itself, including statements by and interviews with witnesses. Among them, testimony from an Iraqi prisoner that would appear to substantiate Seymour Hersh's claims that boys were sodomized at Abu Ghraib. Maj. Gen. Taguba evidently found these statements credible -- they supported statements from interviews with soldiers and other witnesses."

Yes, 6,000 pages in the reports and the summary that people have seen is condensed version of 50 pages. Here is where it gets nasty in backing up what Hersh claimed.

At the end of this post are links to digital copies of two documents from the Taguba report, hosted on the Washington Post website. Is it possible that they document the exact incidents to which Hersh referred? Excerpt from statement provided by Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, Detainee #151108, on January 18 2004:

I saw [name deleted] fucking a kid, his age would be about 15 - 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn't covered and I saw [name deleted] who was wearing the military uniform putting his dick in the little kid's ass. I couldn't see the face of the kid because his face wasn't in front of the door. And the female soldier was taking pictures. [name deleted], I think he is [deleted] because of his accent, and he was not skinny or short, and he acted like a homosexual (gay). And that was in cell #23 as best as I remember.
Another testimony alleging abuse of minors from a statement provided by Thaar Salman Dawod, Detainee #150427, on January 17, 2004:
I saw lots of people getting naked for a few days getting punished in the first days of Ramadan. They came with two boys naked and they were cuffed together face to face and Grainer was beating them and a group of guards were watching and taking pictures from top and bottom and there was three female soldiers laughing at the prisoners. The prisoners, two of them, were young. I don't know their names.

That's exactly what Seymour Hersh stated in his story to the ACLU, so why didn't this get picked up? Why was there not more coverage of this and why were the so called media not all over it during the summer of 2004?

And there's this snip from a CBS interview with "leash girl" Pfc. Lynndie England, the guard seen grinning and pointing at Iraqi prisoners in the infamous photos:
When England was asked if there were other things that happened at Abu Ghraib, things that were not photographed, she said, "Yes." When asked if there were worse things that happened, she said "Yes," but would not elaborate.
Link to first PDF, Link to second PDF. (Thank you, Mark)

Yet, they say this isn't torture. This is acceptable because of what al-Qaeda has done to us. Excuse me, they just kill us for the most part that I have ever seen. One of the things everyone likes to point out is how they seem to prefer, if that's the word you would use, the decapitation of our people. Well, I think I would rather have that, at least it would be quick and done, rather than to be beaten, raped, waterboarded, starved, slapped, hung by my arms, kept in a small box, or had bugs put on me as we have done to the Iraqis and others we tortured.

Here is a link to the story from CNN world, where they reported the story. Why they put it in the world section instead of the front page is beyond me. It should have been front page news. Come on people. This is stupid. We covered up the rape of children and the murder of detainees.

There are more places where the story of these abuses are out there, but it is mostly blogs where they are posted. There was very little coverage if any in the main stream news media.

Today there is another piece in Salon which is linking some of the cables which were sent from Iraq to CIA headquarters in 2002 and may show the story of waterboarding and torture of Abu Zubaydah, the al-Qaida operative who was, according to government reports, subjected to the near-drowning, if that's what you want to call it, at least 83 times in August 2002.

There are more and more pieces to this puzzle coming out every day. Will we ever have the entire story? Who knows. Will we ever see trials and convictions? Again, who knows. I certainly hope so.

Pres. Obama said in his speech that he thought we had the framework in place to do it. Do we have the will in this country? That's another question.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Excuse Me, But Your Losing The Argument, Alito Said the Same Thing

Judge Sonya Sotomayor in an interview in 2001, stated, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

The Republicans have been having a fit over this statement and have been calling her racist, reverse racist and everything else they can think of because of it. This statement even had the disgraced former Speaker Newt Gingrich (why anyone gives this windbag a platform is beyond me) calling for her to step aside. (Is this all he can say, he said the same thing about Nancy Pelosi the other day, Oh, I get it, since he had to step down in disgrace he thinks everyone else should too.)

It has now come to the attention of several people, through DKos, Glenn Greenwald and others that in 2006 during his confirmation hearings, Judge Alito was asked how his immigrant ancestors may have influenced him and his decision making. Listen to his answer.

Almost word for word, the same. Do you think Tom Colburn remembers this and will say anything now in her defense? He is the one who asked the question and got the answer from Alito and now he should step up and do the right thing by Sonya Sotomayor.

Mancow Says Waterboarding Is Torture, Hannity Calls Mancow a Liar

Erich "Mancow" Muller put his mouth, lungs and brain where his mouth is and was waterboarded last week, to try to prove it WAS NOT torture. But it was a failure. He found out what we have been saying all along was correct, it IS torture.

He would like to change the name though, because he says Waterboarding makes it sound pleasant, and calling it simulated drowning, doesn't really work either.

Having drowned as a child, and having to be revived, he would know. He felt as if his brain was cut off, and there was just no hope, and that was within 6 seconds, and he was in control.

Just imagine, if he had been one of the detainees, who were not allowed to stop their torture, and had to deal with this up to 180 times a month. He said he had chest pains and felt scared for over 2 days.

Sean Hannity called him after he went through this and accused him of lying. Told him he was just trying to get ratings and I am not really sure what else Hannity said. Keith more or less ran out of time and cut him off. But, there was enough to show that Hannity is still a coward and still hasn't stepped up to put his money where his mouth is. Watch this and see:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pres. Obama picks Sonya Sotomayor for SCOTUS

Pres. Obama picked Appellate Judge Sonya Sotomayor for his first nominee to the Supreme Court.

First, they both made a brief statement, see the video below;

Here is the reaction from some of the members of the Judicial Committee.

From Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is traveling in Afghanistan visiting the troops there, Pres. Obama called him to advise him of his pick. This is what he had to say and the link to the full statement.

Judge Sotomayor has a long and distinguished career on the federal bench. She has been nominated by both Democratic and Republican presidents, and she was twice confirmed by the Senate with strong, bipartisan support. Her record is exemplary. Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is an historic one, and when confirmed she will become the first Hispanic Justice, and just the third woman to sit on the nation’s highest court. Having a Supreme Court that better reflects the diversity of America helps ensure that we keep faith with the words engraved in Vermont marble over the entrance of the Supreme Court: “Equal justice under law.”


As he promised, President Obama has handled this selection process with the care that the American people expect and deserve. The Senate in good faith should match the President’s confidence-building steps in the way we now proceed with this nomination. Some groups in the Republican base have said they are ‘spoiling for a fight,’ no matter who was nominated. Republican Senators up to now have generally shown more responsibility than that, and the American people will want the Senate to carry out its constitutional duty with conscientiousness and civility.

Among the most serious constitutional duties entrusted to Congress is the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices. President Obama has announced his choice, and the Senate will now prepare for fair and thorough confirmation proceedings. There are more than 300 million Americans; only 100 Senators will vote on this nomination. We have a solemn duty to the Constitution and to the American people. This will not be decided by the interest groups on the left or the right. I trust that no Senator will seek to apply a different standard to this nominee than was applied just four years ago when the Senate considered President Bush’s nominations to the Supreme Court.

I will work closely with Senator Sessions as the Judiciary Committee prepares for confirmation hearings. We are committed to ensuring that the next Justice is seated before the Court’s term begins in October. I hope all Senators will treat this nominee fairly and will respect the Committee’s confirmation process.

From CQ Politics there is this list of bullet points about her background and Judicial Track Record.

Judge Sotomayor's Background:

Born to a Puerto Rican family, Judge Sotomayor grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx. Driven by her mother's belief in the power of education and her own indefatigable work ethic, Sotomayor excelled in school, graduating as valedictorian of her high school class and winning a scholarship to Princeton University.
After graduating summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa, she entered Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Out of law school, Judge Sotomayor became an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, where she tried dozens of serious criminal cases over five years and was known as a "fearless and effective prosecutor."
She entered private practice in 1984, and worked as an international corporate litigator handling cases involving everything from intellectual property to banking, real estate and contract law.

Judge Sotomayor's Judicial Track Record

If confirmed for the Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice in 100 years, and more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed for the Court in the past 70 years.
She has been a big-city prosecutor and a corporate litigator, a federal trial judge on the U.S. District Court, and an appellate judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Before she was promoted to the Second Circuit by President Clinton in 1998, she was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H.W. Bush - a show of bipartisan support that proves good judging transcends political party.
As a trial judge, she earned a reputation as a sharp and fearless jurist who does not let powerful interests bully her into departing from the rule of law. In 1995, Judge Sotomayor ended the baseball strike by issuing an injunction against major league baseball owners.
In 1998, Judge Sotomayor became the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, one of the most demanding circuits in the country. She has participated in over 3000 panel decisions and authored roughly 400 opinions, handling difficult issues of constitutional law, to complex procedural matters, to lawsuits involving complicated business organizations.
Judge Sotomayor is widely admired as a judge with a sophisticated grasp of legal doctrine and a keen awareness of the law's impact on everyday life. She understands that upholding the rule of law means going beyond legal theory to ensure consistent, fair, common-sense application of the law to real-world facts.
Known as a moderate on the court, Sotomayor often forges consensus and agreeing with her more conservative nominees far more frequently than she disagrees with them. In cases where Sotomayor and at least one judge appointed by a Republican president were on the three-judge panel, Sotomayor and the Republican appointee(s) agreed on the outcome 95% of the time
Judge Richard C. Wesley, a George W. Bush appointee to the Second Circuit, said "Sonia is an outstanding colleague with a keen legal mind. She brings a wealth of knowledge and hard work to all her endeavors on our court. It is both a pleasure and an honor to serve with her. "

There are also some concerns she may not be "liberal enough".

Most liberal groups issued very favorable reactions today to President Obama's choice of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.

But the Center for Reproductive Rights says the Senate Judiciary Committee needs to press Sotomayor about her views on abortion. Sotomayor, a 2nd Circuit appeals court judge and a former federal district court judge, has not ruled on the constitutionality of abortion rights.

"Please take the next step with us and send a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick J. Leahy to demand full disclosure from Judge Sotomayor on her commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade," the group said in an e-mail this evening.

In a 2002 case before the 2nd Circuit, Center for Reproductive Law and Policy v. Bush, Sotomayor wrote an opinion upholding the constitutionality of a U.S. government policy that required foreign organizations receiving U.S. aid not to either promote or perform abortions, even with other funds. Obama rolled back that policy on Jan. 23 with an executive order.

Professor Jonathon Turley hinted this morning while talking to Tweety, that he had read 30 of her opinions and he was not impressed by her level of knowledge. He thought she was shallow and not all that bright.

It was very wild the way he said it. I am not sure if he was jealous or what his problem was. Maybe he thought he should have been I would like to know what his grade point average was. It will be interesting also to see if he continues with this.

That is strictly a right wing talking point and it was stunning to hear it from such a far liberal person as Turley.

I think it is a good pick from all I have read. Of course the usual suspects went nuts, as in Rush, Beck, and the wing nuts at Faux News. That right there tells me it must be a brilliant pick.

Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef says detainee treatment "bad stain" on U.S. history

Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef is not a member of the Taliban any longer, or so he says, but at one time he was a very big person in that organization. While at Bagram and Guantanamo he was subjected to Torture and then released by BushCo.

Tortured and released.. makes sense to me. Of course he never gave up anything they could use. Listen to what he has to say.

From the CNN video and story:

In Guantanamo, Zaeef recalled, "there was no rule, no regulation for [treatment of] the detainees."

Sayed Sharif Yousofy, who works to get prisoners released from Bagram, said he would like to see both facilities closed.

"Some prisoners are released after four years without any conviction of a crime, which is not fair," he said. "These prisoners are not treated according to the convention of human rights, either in Guantanamo or Bagram."

Preliminary intelligence assessments show more than 14 percent of detainees released from Guantanamo either returned or are suspected of returning to terrorism, the Pentagon said earlier this week. Zaeef -- who was Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan under the Taliban regime at the time of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States -- said he believes the statistics, as detainees are often angry when released.

There is some dispute over the numbers. We may never really know how many it is. It is also worth noting that all of the detainees or prisoners were released by BUSHCO.

So if there is blame for them being release it needs to be laid squarely on them. Pres. Obama is trying to do it correctly, and is trying to get help and receiving very little.

This really backs up what is in the video I posted below called Taxi to the Dark Side. It is really worth watching. Lots of information in those few minutes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day, A Day for Remembering, Honoring and Reflecting

Today is the day we celebrate Memorial Day by law. I think celebrate is a poor choice of words, in that what this holiday stands for is to honor the fallen military heroes of wars.

From we can track the history and traditions of this day. What started simply as women trying to decorate the war dead then grew to a national movement, then to a holiday to start summer, and a forgotten reason for the day.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

As I said, most people have forgotten the real meaning of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was earlier called and think it is about honoring all dead. It is for honoring the men and women of the military.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

Maybe, instead of beginning Summer, we should just take one day to remember our Fallen Heroes. Instead of having a 3 day weekend to "celebrate" Memorial Day, we should go back to the original May 30th date and have the one day just to Honor our Fallen Heroes.

Check out the Restore Traditional Memorial Day site to learn more and help honor our heroes if you would like.

I hope you have a great day, don't forget to thank a Soldier for your freedom, and their service, and take the time at 3:00 your local time to pause and reflect for a Moment of Remembrance.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Talks to The Young Turks

The more I hear from Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, the more I like him. He seems very down to earth and even though he is a Republican he does believe as we all do that torture is WRONG.

He talked to Cenk Unger a couple of days ago and gave a very in depth interview about BushCo and Cheney. He explains what he thinks and knows happened in the years he was there, what he saw, heard and gives details.

Really juicy stuff. If you haven't heard it, it is a great 15 minutes. Some of the details he gives are that Cheney as we all thought was in truth the Co-President. He tells how he manipulated Bush and used him to get what he wanted.

Watch the video and here is the link to the site and the transcript so you can see what they believe are the relevant parts which needed to be highlighted.

Cheney Intervened in CIA Inspector General's Torture Probe

Are you surprised? I am not. Nothing this man does, has done, or would do will ever surprise me again.

This is why I worry about the prosecution of him and his cronies here in this country and think it may best be handled by the World Court.

Look at how the Dumbocrats, as a friend called them this week, were manipulated into voting against the President on the closing of Guantanamo. They acted like this was something they hadn't heard before, and didn't know was in the works for the last 5 months. If they had reservations why had they not talked to the President and told him they needed this plan before they voted against the money?

But, that is digressing from this story, in a way. Cheney has a lot of power still in Washington and beyond, and so do the Rethuglicans, and they use it wisely. Even though they are the minority, look at how they drive the news cycle and the content of the news. That should tell you the power and the authority they wield.

This story, by tells of Cheney's influence over the investigation into the CIA's use of Torture.

(Jane) Mayer added that Cheney routinely "summoned" Inspector General Helgerson to meet with him privately about his investigation, launched in 2003, and soon thereafter the probe "was stopped in its tracks." Mayer characterized Cheney's interaction with Helgerson as highly unusual.

Cheney's "reaction to this first, carefully documented in-house study concluding that the CIA's secret program was most likely criminal was to summon the Inspector General to his office for a private chat," Mayer wrote. "The Inspector General is supposed to function as an independent overseer, free from political pressure, but Cheney summoned the CIA Inspector General more than once to his office."

"Cheney loomed over everything," the former CIA officer told Mayer. "The whole IG's office was completely politicized. They were working hand in glove with the White House."

However, it is also noted that
"Helgerson has denied that he was pressured by Cheney."
And I really believe that. (My Emphasis, only to denote the quote from the article.) Which is why there was no investigation of anything but the few underlings who were prosecuted for the murders of the 3 detainees who were killed and the few who were prosecuted from the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

Tell me another story please, because I don't believe for a minute that one. There is too much evidence out there, has been and still is for that to be true.

If there is truth in his report, then it was covered up and buried so that no one could be punished from it and I will say I am wrong. But, I am still not convinced.

Here is more from it that may say, I am wrong.. but it will take more than this to prove to me.

In October 2007, former CIA Director Michael Hayden ordered an investigation into Helgerson's office, focusing on internal complaints that the inspector general was on "a crusade against those who have participated in [the] controversial detention program."

News reports have suggested that when Helgerson's report is declassified it will seriously undercut claims made by Cheney in numerous interviews that the systematic torture of "high-value" detainees produced valuable intelligence, thwarted pending terrorist plots against the United States and saved "hundreds of thousands of lives."

I really hope he was on a crusade, that would be a difference from what we have seen of others who have investigated, except for Jane Mayer, and a very few of the others. But this is a familiar charge. Anyone who dared to say anything against BushCo. was called a traitor, was against the country, and several other names I can't really even think of right now. Geeze the Dixie Chicks were almost ruined for daring to speak out and say they were ashamed to be from the same state as he.

"After being removed from his house, Jamadi was manhandled by several of the SEALs, who gave him a black eye and a cut on his face; he was then transferred to CIA custody, for interrogation at Abu Ghraib. According to witnesses, Jamadi was walking and speaking when he arrived at the prison. He was taken to a shower room for interrogation. Some forty-five minutes later, he was dead."

At the time of his death, Jamadi's head was covered with a plastic bag, he was shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that inhibited his ability to breathe and according to forensic pathologists who have examined the case, he suffocated.

The CIA interrogator implicated in his death was Mark Swanner, who was never charged with a crime despite a recommendation by investigators working for Helgerson that the Justice Department launch a criminal investigation into the matter.

The Swanner/Jamadi case was forwarded in 2004 to then-Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, where the file remained. McNulty is under scrutiny by a special prosecutor investigating the role he and other Bush administration officials played in the firings of nine US attorneys in 2006.

Helgerson also "had serious questions about the agency's mistreatment of dozens more, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," Mayer wrote in her book, adding that there was a belief by some "insiders that [Helgerson's investigation] would end with criminal charges for abusive interrogations."

The entire article is good. Like I said, maybe I am wrong. I certainly hope I am. But when I see reports done during the last 8 years, by someone appointed by BushCo, I am very wary of what I see. I guess, I am just a skeptic.

Read it for yourself.. it is a good article, and worth reading.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Taxi To The Dark Side

If you have never seen this movie, you should. It is just about an hour but it is worth watching.

They give all the details, all the links that go back to Rumsfeld, Cheney, Franks and all the way back to Bush.

The pictures are there, in the video, the murders, the trials of the "few bad apples" who took the fall for the higher ups.

This is in 5 parts, but it is worth the time and the trouble to watch.

Part 1 of 5

Part 2 of 5

Part 3 of 5

Part 4 of 5

Part 5 of 5

Presidents Weekly Address

This is Memorial Day. Time for us to reflect, remember and honor our veteran and our service men and women.

The President reminds us of this and lets us know that we have a duty too. Take the time to honor some of the men and women at least this weekend.

I found a group if you are interested in joining. They are called eMail Our Military. You can sign up on their site to write to a service member and help support them while they are gone from home. They have a form you fill out on line, then you mail it in with a $2.00 processing fee. That's just to weed out scammers, then you are package with further instructions. It sounds complicated, but remember they are protecting you and the service member both.

It is a worthy cause, and it can be great for both of you. You can email or write either one. Think about it anyway. Just another way to honor our military and support them. We do have service members who have no real family and they have no home support.

Here is Our President, I am so glad we have him. He still makes me proud I voted for him.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Reactions to Pres. Obama and Cheney's Speeches

I have seen several different reactions to the speeches from yesterday. Of course mine was that I thought Pres. Obama was masterful and great and Cheney's was full of fear mongering and lies.

But, that would be a lie a little, because I really didn't listen to Cheney's speech.. I ignored his, and just heard what bits and pieces were played on the news shows and such.

I really didn't have to listen to his speech, I knew exactly what he was going to say, because we have heard the same thing for the last 8 years at least from the Republicans and we finally rejected it soundly.

One of the best pieces I have read, was from McClatchy.Yahoo has that featured there, and it is a good piece from Yahoo, believe it or not.

One of the comments Dickless made was to say that his techniques worked to keep us safe.. yeah "techniques" Torture will not keep us safe. Here is what McClatchy says in response of that,

A top-secret 2004 CIA inspector general's investigation found no conclusive proof that information gained from aggressive interrogations helped thwart any "specific imminent attacks," according to one of four top-secret Bush-era memos that the Justice Department released last month.
FBI Director Mueller Robert Muller told Vanity Fair magazine in December that he didn't think that the techniques disrupted any attacks.

Dickless also stated they had moved to fight the terrorists so well.. yet,

The former vice president didn't point out that Osama bin Laden and his chief lieutenant, Ayman al Zawahri , remain at large nearly eight years after 9-11 and that the Bush administration began diverting U.S. forces, intelligence assets, time and money to planning an invasion of Iraq before it finished the war in Afghanistan against al Qaida and the Taliban .
There are now 49,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan fighting to contain the bloodiest surge in Taliban violence since the 2001 U.S.-led intervention, and Islamic extremists also have launched their most concerted attack yet on neighboring, nuclear-armed Pakistan .

As I said, it is a very good read. Check it out and read the full review. They pretty well check him in place.

Another good Fact Checkery of sorts is in the Washington Independent. They have a good article citing several sources, including the McClatchy report.

I think the last few lines of the article sums up the feelings of a lot of people.

Now, however, I’ve spent about two hours and almost 1200 words chasing an inaccurate Dick Cheney claim down the rabbit hole. So I credit him with that victory. He makes an outlandish and misleading claim; I scramble to point out what’s wrong with it. Nothing I’ve written is particularly new or unfamiliar to the public record. But that doesn’t stop Cheney from saying what he says.

Nothing Dickless said is new or unfamiliar, we rejected it. It is illegal, it is wrong, it is immoral, it is torture. Plain and simple. It is torture.

I don't care what Dickless and his band of thugs want to try to rename it to, it is torture.

Check those out. See what you think. Got a couple of others you might be interested in, but the Washington Independent really covered most of them. Nieman Watchdog has a great piece. Talking about questions the press should be asking. This is a series of articles.

UPDATE Steve Benen @ The Washington Monthly has an article up about how many times Lynn Cheney has been on defending her Father and his policy of torture. Check it out.

Just some of the things I have been reading and looking at. Lots of things to read, lots of things to think about.

Basically, Cheney is wrong, Pres. Obama is right. We have a new way forward and Cheney needs to get off the stage. We have rejected him and his ideas. It is time for him to SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE HELL UP.

Check out ZenYenta, Get a Dose of Reality

One of my favorite bloggers has a great post up about the indefinite detention that Pres. Obama mentioned yesterday, and that seems to have Glenn Greenwald and Rachel Maddow all up in the air. In fact Rachel was just foaming at the mouth angry last night about this.

I can sorta understand how everyone is suspicious after the last 8 years. We have been screwed over so much, by what BushCo did to our Country, and to others in our name. But someday we have to start trusting our President again.

We can't just assume every time he says something it is bad or it will turn out badly for us. Besides, with the way Congress is challenging him at every step of the way, I don't think we have a lot to worry about.

He laid out the guidelines of what he had planned, it is much different from what Bush had in place, and it certainly seems as if it will be above board. But, check out ZenYenta and see what she says about it.

She can explain it much better than I and with more authority too. She also stated that she would have more information this weekend.

So like I said head over to ZenYenta and check her out, see what she has to say and then make your decision.

Maybe it really is time to start to trust our President once again. We can still be wary, and have trust.

Finally someone Challenges Liz Cheney

Someone finally challenged Liz Cheney, not real well, but at least it was something. She didn't just get to spout her nonsense like she usually does.

It must be in her agreement when she appears that no one will ask her hard questions, because she never has anyone on the other side to debate her really. She just gets to spew her venom and vile words and go on. She calls the President a liar, says he is putting us in danger, is going to let the detainees roam the country, because some liberal judge is just going to let them loose on bail or something.

Her nonsense just goes on and on. But here, Anderson Cooper actually asks her some hard questions, of course she really doesn't answer them, but at least he gets them out there.

Thanks to Media Matters for the video.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pres. Obama's Speech on National Security

I believe our President laid out the plan quite well this morning. He was detailed, yet not so detailed that he gave away the farm. There was no fear mongering. Just plain truth.

You could tell it was the truth. It was not a put down, mocking, sarcastic speech. He just laid out what he thought was the facts as needed to be done. There were some hard truths there for some people and I am sure they didn't like them, but that's the way things go.

It was a speech that made you feel good and let you know the smart people were in charge and you didn't feel like you were being talked down to or that there was an idiot in charge.

Watch and see what you think.

I will be interested in anyone's opinion.

If you would like to read the speech, there is a transcript here at Huffington Post.

One of the most compelling and important lines for me and for several others that I know would be this right here, I believe.

That is what I mean when I say that we need to focus on the future. I recognize that many still have a strong desire to focus on the past. When it comes to the actions of the last eight years, some Americans are angry; others want to re-fight debates that have been settled, most clearly at the ballot box in November. And I know that these debates lead directly to a call for a fuller accounting, perhaps through an Independent Commission.

I have opposed the creation of such a Commission because I believe that our existing democratic institutions are strong enough to deliver accountability. The Congress can review abuses of our values, and there are ongoing inquiries by the Congress into matters like enhanced interrogation techniques. The Department of Justice and our courts can work through and punish any violations of our laws.

For me that is the money quote.. I have long believed he was supportive of trials and hearings of some kind. That right there tells me he is. Thank you Mr. President.

Colbert has a Suggestion for the Republicans

Stephen Colbert has a name for the Republicans to start calling the Democratic Party that should be a clear winner for them in the next election cycle.

Watch and see what you think... I love

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Video from Lee Stranahan

This is a great new video from Lee Stranahan. He does very good work. He produces videos for MoveOn and several other organizations.

He has his own blog and also comments at BobCesca's, and writes for Huffington Post.

This is a wonderful video, I love it and it needs lots of play.

Go Faster

Former Clinton Attorney Says: Cheney is Daring Us to Indict Him

This is what I think too. I have been saying this is why he is out there, he thinks no one will ever charge him with a crime and he is just daring someone to do it.

A few of us were talking about it on The Facebook the other day. Why was Cheney running his mouth?

Well, Lanny Davis, former Special Counsel to the President for Bill Clinton, stepped up and says the same thing now. Raw Story has a synopsis of a story he did in the Washington Times.

I missed it when it was in the Washington Times. But here is what Raw Story had to say.

“I have agreed with President Obama on the need to look forward, not backward.”

Davis continues, “But … I have changed my mind about the need to indict former Vice President Dick Cheney for complicity in illegal torture.”

His insistence on putting himself on multiple TV programs and conservative radio talk shows, not only defending torture but offering the defense that it worked, has changed my mind. Not only that - he went on to attack Mr. Obama as weakening the United States in the war on terrorism because Mr. Obama immediately announced that torture would no longer be allowed.

Dem’s fighting words. They are also, in my view, reckless and irresponsible. They seem to be laying down a marker that in case, God forbid, there is a terrorist attack, Mr. Cheney can be the first to blame it on Mr. Obama’s policies and say, “I told you so.”

Even more, they seem to be an in-your-face dare by Mr. Cheney to the U.S. criminal justice system: “I am Dick Cheney, I approved violations of the law in the name of the war on terror, and what are you going to do about it?”

It reminds me of Gary Hart’s reaction in the early days of his 1988 presidential campaign to the rumors of his womanizing. Mr. Hart denied the charge - and then dared the media to catch him. Well, they took him up on his dare (specifically, the Miami Herald did). And they caught him - at least in a compromising situation that led to his withdrawal from the campaign.

So as to Mr. Cheney: I think it is time to take him up on his implicit dare and indict him for violating the 1994 federal law against torture.

Good, maybe if enough of these people start coming forward and speaking out, AG Holder will step up and get his "A Game" on and either appoint a Special Prosecutor or I think better yet, get all the information together and take it to the UN and hand it over to the World Court.

I truly think that would be the best course of action for our country. It would take the politics out of it. But it would help us heal and would stop the who did what to whom.

We don't need Congress to investigate it, we already know it happened, we know it was ordered from the top. We had a bi-partisan Senate commission who stated this already, and that should be enough to move on to the next stage.

All it takes is the will of the people and of AG Holder to move it the next step. That's where we are lacking.


That's the problem. I have heard from people who tell me it's because the terrorists don't live in a certain country. They flew planes into buildings. They did terrible things to people and don't deserve better treatment.

My argument to all of these is simple. We went to war in Germany and France because England asked us to. Yes, we had and have our own country, but we weren't fighting for our country. Not technically. We didn't fly planes into buildings, but we dropped huge bombs into and onto their buildings and killed enough civilians to make up for it. Look what we did to them. You don't know what those bombs are doing because you don't see it. That's just in Europe.

Now, lets talk Japan. They attacked us at Pearl Harbor, they flew planes into ships, buildings, dropped bombs on everything they could and shot at anything that moved. The Japanese were very original in there treatment of prisoners, by original I mean they had a way that was never seen before and probably not seen since.

Most WWII veterans won't talk about what they saw that the Japanese did to the Prisoners they held and were glad they were killed. Bataan Death March anyone?
Some were freed and the scars, both mental and physical, they carry never left them.

Even the POW's held by the German's, after they were freed, had problems in life, which is understandable. And their treatment was nothing compared to what their friends in the Pacific Theater went through.

Yes, Cheney is daring us to do something.. so.. let's do something... sign a petition, write an email to AG Holder and ask him to charge Cheney. Do Something!

Jon Stewart Calls Out the Congress About GitMo

Jon Stewart gives the Congress hell for refusing to fund the closing of GitMo, and allowing the detainees to stay in prisons here.

They are just people, not magic beings who can transport themselves out through the walls or over them.

Kit Bond and the Missouri Legislators are just ignorant, we here in the state kept the Blind Sheik for a while, and even kept him in the hospital while he was being treated.

We have several "terrorists" and no one has attacked us. These people have been in GitMo for years and no one has attacked it, why would they attack and destroy the prison now with these people in there.

Watch how Jon takes them on.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy 85th Birthday Dad, I Sure Miss You!

Today would have been my dad's 85th birthday. How I miss him. He's been gone just over a year now.

I was busy all day today, thank goodness. If I hadn't been I am not sure I could have handled it.

Dad is the reason I started this blog. He was so upset over the mess BushCo left us in, and so angry over the torture and the war. He hated what was done.

Dad fought in WWII in Europe and was one of the Liberators. He freed some of the Jews from the death camps and what he saw haunted him for the rest of his life.

He also fought and finally won his 100% service connected disability, but only 4 years, 10 months before he died. Sixty years after he got out of the military, he finally got what he was promised. Well most of it anyway.

Dad worked hard and probably took less than 2 weeks sick leave his entire life. Even with a heart condition, he seldom missed a days work. One morning he told Mom he wasn't feeling well, but he still went to work. Next thing we knew, the hospital called to tell us he had driven himself to the ER. We later found he had to stop 3 times in 15 miles, with chest pains from the heart attack he was having.

That was my dad. 3 days in the hospital and he was back to work in less than a week.

Dad had prostate cancer. It metastasized to his bones, mostly in his hips and spine. He seldom complained about pain. Even though the doctors told us he had 18 months to 24 months it was only 6 months from the time they told us until dad was gone.

I miss my dad so much. I guess I thought he would always be here, even while I knew he wouldn't be. He was just always there, and now he isn't.

Happy Birthday Dad, I miss you and I love you.

Update To Maureen Dowd Plagiarizing Josh Marshall

Today I received an email from Simon Owens the proprietor of Bloggasm, who had a post up about the story and had gotten quotes from the players, so to speak, involved.

He wanted to share the quotes with me since I had posted the story and so I am going to post some of what he said and a link to his page.

Here is what Simon had to say on his page:

I reached out to both Josh Marshall and the TPM Cafe blogger who broke the story. Marshall responded with a polite, “I really don’t have any comment.”

The TPM Cafe blogger (I believe his first name is Joshua as well but I don’t know the last) said, “Honestly, I’d rather not. I’m pretty sure I can’t add anything that isn’t already clear cut. Obviously, I don’t know what happened, but I am interested in hearing what Dowd’s explanation is though – considering how big a role she played in Joe Biden’s plagiarism problem in 1988. ”

I can’t help but wonder why Marshall doesn’t want to comment on this issue. Either way, a virtual “lynch mob,” as one blogger called it, has already been set loose within Twitter and the blogosphere. The New York Times will be feeling the repercussions of this for weeks.

There is more, and again the blog is called Bloggasm, check him out. I really am not sure why he reached out to me, but he did.. you can check him out and see what else he posted about this little trip into hypocrisy Maureen Dowd took.

I call it hypocrisy, because she took this short paragraph, according to her story, from a "friend", who had it now seems, read Josh Marshall's original at TPM. Since Maureen didn't bother to cite either of them in her Op-Ed, she is guilty of plagiarism.

The hypocrisy comes due to her accusing then Sen. Joe Biden of plagiarism when he used parts of a speech given by Kinnock without citing him as the author, even though many times before he had used the same speech and cited Kinnock as the author.

She needs to do more than just say oopps. I think she owes Josh Marshall an apology, she owes Joe Biden an apology and she really should resign.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

President Obama's Speech at Notre Dame..

This was an excellent speech and was well received. Even though there were a couple of people protesting in the building, all in all it was very quiet and the protesters were handled quietly by the people in the crowd yelling back at them, "We are Notre Dame". They were then quietly led outside.

Here is the speech in it's entirety.

Part 1 of 4

Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4

Maureen Dowd, Plagiariazing Someone? UPDATED!!!

Maureen Dowd Plagiarized TPM's Joshua Marshall??

It sure looks like

Talking Points Memo

One paragraph was the same except for just a couple of words. Josh right now is laughing, but he may not be laughing for long. This may be a signal for others to look at their work.

Back in 1987, Dowd herself is the one who exposed then-presidential candidate Joe Biden's plagiarism of British politician Neil Kinnock's speech. Isn't that just the height of hypocrisy?


Dowd has issued a statement and an apology of sorts.

She sent an email to Huffington Post with this statement. Read the full story at the link.

josh is right. I didn't read his blog last week, and didn't have any idea he had made that point until you informed me just now.

i was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent -- and I assumed spontaneous -- way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column.

but, clearly, my friend must have read josh marshall without mentioning that to me.
we're fixing it on the web, to give josh credit, and will include a note, as well as a formal correction tomorrow.

As you can see, she is still not saying she did wrong, and in the editorial she wrote she still never gave anyone else credit for the statement. But, how can she not say, yes I screwed up and not say, I am as bad as everyone else I have painted with the same brush.

Is this not what she did to Joe Biden? She flamed him for weeks over that, because he didn't site his source, will someone do her the same way?

Will Ferrell was on Saturday Night Live & he Brought Bush with Him

Yep, he did his Bush imitation and told Cheney to STFU... it was

Will Ferrell has always been my favorite Bush imitator.. he is wonderful at it. He didn't disappoint me last night either.

In character he tells Cheney, he has been on the TeeVee Machine too much and that they need to let history tell their story. To go away, be quiet and that he wishes he had had Joe Biden for his VP.

Watch this from the opening scene of SNL..