We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for July 24th, 2008

Mixed Signals on McCain Trip to Lousiana

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:41 am by HL

Mixed Signals on McCain Trip to Lousiana
“Mystery continues to surround” Sen. John McCain’s “plans to interrupt a tour of battleground states today for a visit to New Orleans and a meeting with Gov. Bobby Jindal,” the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

“Campaign officials confirm that McCain will fly to New Orleans tonight but declined to give any more details about the visit. The trip attracted even more attention after a nationally syndicated columnist reported that McCain planned to name his running mate this week, sparking speculation that Jindal is a finalist.”

Meanwhile, on morning television, Jindal said he didn’t even know if McCain was coming to his state. He also said he wasn’t going to be chosen as McCain’s running mate.

McCain Drops Hints About Pawlenty
A Republican source who attended a small private meeting with John McCain yesterday in New Hampshire tells CNN that “the GOP candidate dropped a serious hint about Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty” becoming his running mate.

The source said “out of the blue” McCain told the gathering that he thinks they are “really going to like” Pawlenty.

“This GOP source noted that McCain also said nice things about Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani, but those appeared to be standard lines he says about former rivals.”

CQ Politics: Four principles for picking a vice president.


Late Late Nite FDL: Arthur Russell

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Late Late Nite FDL: Arthur Russell
Arthur Russell – This Is How We Walk on the Moon

Arthur Russell – This Is How We Walk on the Moon 

What’s on your mind tonight?


What “Egregious Crimes?”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

What “Egregious Crimes?”

Some are championing Jonathan Turley’s line of argument that all possible criminality by the Executive Branch is equal and the most serious of business, requiring even impeachment. Remember Turley supported the impeachment and removal of President Clinton. This is a wrong headed approach to take in my opinion. You can not reasonably compare anything even arguably done by President Clinton to the brazen attack on the Constitution and the separation of powers by the Bush Administration. I reject Turley’s argument in its entirety and think it muddles the issues in a harmful way.

For example, lost in the shuffle of Obama advisor Cass Sunstein’s statement about egregious crimes is the fact that Sunstein actually does not believe that Bush Administration did anything wrong. As I discussed in 2005, Sunstein supported the Bush Administration claims on military tribunals and illegal wiretapping. Indeed, Sunstein endorsed the Bush Administration’s argument regarding the inherent authority of the President to disregard laws when acting as Commander in Chief. More . . .

Yesterday, on Democracy Now, Sunstein did his best Michael O’Hanlon imitation and tried to rewrite his history of support for the Bush Administration’s military tribunals, acting as if he would never be cited as someone who supported Bush’s lawlessness. To put it bluntly, Sunstein was prevaricating. In 2002, writing about the Bush military tribunals, Sunstein argued in favor of the unconstitutional Bush military tribunals:

War and the Constitution

Under existing law, President George W. Bush has the legal authority to use military commissions to try certain suspected terrorists for violations of the law of war. In arguing otherwise, George P. Fletcher makes numerous blunders [“War and the Constitution,” January 1–14, 2002]. The key decision is Ex parte Quirin (1942), in which the Supreme Court upheld President Roosevelt’s decision to use military commissions to try German saboteurs who had landed on Long Island. The Court concluded that Congress had authorized use of commissions to try violations of the law of war. The Court held that the saboteurs had violated that law, and hence were “unlawful combatants,” because they entered the country secretly, without uniform, and with the intent to destroy property. The Court emphasized that unlawful combatants could be treated differently from ordinary soldiers operating in uniform pursuant to an ordinary chain of command.

The Court extended this ruling in In re Yamashita, allowing commissions to try a Japanese general who had participated in atrocities against civilians (also violative of the law of war).

After these cases, President Bush’s choice stands on firm legal ground insofar as he seeks to use military commissions to try people who planned and participated in the September 11 attacks (and similar actions). The congressional authorization found sufficient in Quirin is the same law invoked in Bush’s order. In rejecting this conclusion, Fletcher misdescribes the law.

Fletcher’s key contention is that when civilian courts are open, a military commission cannot be used to try offenses that fall within the civilian courts’ jurisdiction. But Quirin rejected that contention in unambiguous terms, saying that this principle had no application to a case involving lawful or unlawful combatants. Fletcher invokes the 1866 decision in Ex parte Milligan as “the leading precedent.” But in Quirin, the Court explicitly limited the reach of Milligan, saying that it did not involve a belligerent enemy. Amazingly, Fletcher suggests that Quirin “invented” the category of unlawful combatants. That category was and remains well established in both domestic and international law. (“By universal agreement and practice, the law of war draws a distinction between . . . those who are lawful and unlawful combatants,” the Court said, with many citations.) Fletcher urges that it is important to distinguish between Nazi-style violations of moral decency and other violations of the law of war. For purposes of analyzing the legal issues raised by military commissions, this distinction is not relevant, much less important.

(Emphasis supplied.) Sunstein in essence argued for the decision in Al-Marri, which treats the President as an absolute monarch in time of war. In my view, Sunstein is wrong on the law. And in the 2006 Hamdan decision, the Supreme Court disagreed with Sunstein and the Bush Administration.

Similarly, Sunstein endorsed the Bush Administration warrantless surveillance program. And in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, Sunstein used the same condescending tone to dismiss critics of the Bush Administration:

HH: Do you consider the quality of the media coverage here to be good, bad, or in between?

CS: Pretty bad, and I think the reason is we’re seeing a kind of libertarian panic a little bit, where what seems at first glance…this might be proved wrong…but where what seems at first glance a pretty modest program is being described as a kind of universal wiretapping, and also being described as depending on a wild claim of presidential authority, which the president, to his credit, has not made any such wild claim. The claims are actually fairly modest, and not unconventional. So the problem with what we’ve seen from the media is treating this as much more peculiar, and much larger than it actually is.

Sunstein now wishes us all to forget that he fully supported the Bush Administration’s lawlessness. He clearly wants to play a role in a potential Obama Administration. I do object to that possibility. Sunstein has supported the most extreme views of Executive power argued by the Bush Administration. Almost as bad, he has been mendacious about his previous positions, painting himself as in the mainsteam of progressive legal thought when he clearly is in the camp of the extreme conservative views on executive power. If Obama wants a Sunstein in his Administration, let’s be clear about what we are getting – not some progressive legal thinker on Executive Power, but someone who hold the most extreme views on the subject, views rejected by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Speaking for me only


Wanker of the Day

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Wanker of the Day
Fred Hiatt.

Unconditional Withdrawal
The local Fox outlet just showed me clips of McCain saying (roughly) “Obama won’t acknowledge that we’ve succeeded [in Iraq]” and “He’s in favor of unconditional withdrawal.”

If we’ve succeeded why can’t we leave? Just who are we at war with and what conditions should we demand before we withdraw? Does any of this make any fucking sense at all?


The U.S. Economy Is Socialism for the Rich

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

The U.S. Economy Is Socialism for the Rich
Free market capitalism in the United States is by no means “free.” It’s time we recognize this and move past the destructive neoliberal agenda.

Big Pharma Pushes Drugs That Cause Conditions They Are Supposed to Prevent
Yet again, women are the industry’s main targets.


An Eloquent President?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

An Eloquent President?
Golly, why’d we want one of those after the inspiring words of Dear Leader?
—- link

LeftWord: The Best Liberal Blog Posts
All The Best Liberal Blog Posts From Arond The Web.


Mukasey Quotes Socialist Eugene Debs on Discussion National Security Issues

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Mukasey Quotes Socialist Eugene Debs on Discussion National Security Issues
Attorney General Michael Mukasey is having a lovely time in front of the House Judiciary Committee today, bantering about college football with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and quoting America’s archetypal socialist during questioning with Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL): KELLER: Back…


Plane carrying Ron Paul in ‘nosedive’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Plane carrying Ron Paul in ‘nosedive’
Plane carrying Ron Paul in ‘nosedive’

Rapper DMX indicted on felony charges
Rapper DMX has been indicted on felony charges by a grand jury in Arizona for allegedly trying to get out of paying a hospital bill…


Scarborough Defends McCain, Criticizes Bloggers ?Eating Cheetos? In Their ?Underwear?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Scarborough Defends McCain, Criticizes Bloggers ?Eating Cheetos? In Their ?Underwear?
Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) inaccurately claimed that the surge was responsible for beginning the Sunni revolt against al Qaeda in Iraq’s Anbar province: “Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening.” This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough […]

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) inaccurately claimed that the surge was responsible for beginning the Sunni revolt against al Qaeda in Iraq’s Anbar province: “Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening.” This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough attempted to defend McCain’s comment:

Anybody that would argue the Sunni Awakening would have survived in Al Anbar province without the surge…is so ignorant of the facts on the ground in Western Iraq, in Al Anbar province and what the Sunni sheiks were doing throughout 2007 — they’re too stupid to be on television. […]

The Anbar Awakening started in the fall of 2006. World War II started in December of 1941. That battled continued. The invasion of Normandy happened three years later. Good things happened. The surge happened six months later, and that’s when things started getting better in Anbar province.

Also during this segment, Scarborough attacked liberal bloggers for correcting McCain’s error, saying they were probably “just sitting there, eating their Cheetos” and saying, “Let me google Anbar Awakening!” He added, “Dust flying — Cheeto dust flying all over. They’re wiping it on their bare chest while their underwear — you know, their Hanes.” Watch it:

First of all, McCain did not simply tie the surge to the Anbar Awakening. He said that the Anbar Awakening began with the surge. As several bloggers pointed out, this claim is completely false. The Awakening began in September 2006; President Bush didn’t even announce the surge until January 2007. Things were getting better in Anbar long before the surge.

Additionally, as Colin Kahl writes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, the Awakening was driven not by sheiks’ confidence in the surge, but by their belief that the United States would soon be withdrawing from Iraq. “U.S. forces had to convince the Sunnis that they were not occupiers — that is, that they did not intend to stay forever,” writes Kahl.

And for the record, ThinkProgress does not regularly eat Cheetos, nor do we blog in our underwear. But we do use a Google now and then.

Digg It!

Transcript: (more…)


Thousands Flock for a Chance at Loan Relief

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

Thousands Flock for a Chance at Loan Relief
The homeowners started lining up at 4 a.m. yesterday, some, like Patricia Ephraim, coming for a second or third day.

Obama Working to Ensure Jewish Vote
Before embarking on a sprawling international trip that would take him to seven countries, two continents and two war zones, Sen. Barack Obama and his campaign staff fixated on a speck on the globe that is slightly smaller than New Jersey: Israel.