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Archive for July 14th, 2009

CIA Program Too Good to Be True?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

CIA Program Too Good to Be True?

Dick Cheney

What is so controversial about killing al-Qaida bigwigs and avoiding civilian casualties that the CIA would have to conceal such things from Congress? The usual anonymous officials have emerged to explain the secret CIA program Dick Cheney and the agency are supposed to have hidden, and something smells awfully fishy.

Here’s how the AP, relying on anonymous sources, describes the program:

The program, which never got off the ground and remains shrouded in mystery, was designed to target leaders of the terrorism network at close range, rather than with airstrikes that risked civilian casualties, government officials with knowledge of the operation said Monday. [Link]

First of all, since when has collateral damage been high on Dick Cheney’s priority list?

And what politician is going to object to either (a) killing al-Qaida leaders or (b) not killing civilians?

It’s not even clear that the program broke the law. One well-placed source told Associated Press that CIA Director Leon Panetta, a Democrat appointed by President Obama, had told congressional committees “there was no indication that there was anything illegal or inappropriate about the effort itself.”

And this from a CNN Internet item from 2002 titled “U.S. policy on assassinations”:

“According to an October 21, 2001, Washington Post article, President Bush in September of last year signed an intelligence ‘finding’ instructing the CIA to engage in ‘lethal covert operations’? to destroy Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda organization.

“White House and CIA lawyers believe that the intelligence ‘finding’ is constitutional because the ban on political assassination does not apply to wartime. They also contend that the [1976 executive order banning political assassinations] does not preclude the United States taking action against terrorists.”

It has been widely publicized that the United States has either killed or tried to kill al-Qaida leaders with attacks from conventional aircraft or aerial drones. These air raids—which sadly have claimed many innocent victims—have occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia.

According to the anonymous officials, the “embryonic” CIA program never got under way.

Apparently Intelligence Committee Democrats in both chambers of Congress are flipping out over a program that was, we are told, appealing, uncontroversial and nonexistent. Either the Democrats are upset for no good reason or Dick Cheney has friends in the leak business who are painting some rightly enraged legislators as wing nuts.

Could this program be the fabled Cheney hit squad Seymour Hersh once alluded to?

As with all secret programs, we are left guessing at shadows, wondering what our government has done in our name.

Related: Former CIA Director Michael Hayden tells NPR that Cheney never told him to keep details from Congress.

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And Now, a Canned Answer About Palin From McCain

McCain

In this clip from Sunday’s episode of “Meet the Press,” Sen. John McCain goes into Papa Bear mode to defend his former running mate, Sarah Palin, but his show of support seems a little strained at times—as when he says “I don’t think she quit,” for example.

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Goldman Execs Sold $700M Of Stock, Most Of It During Their Bailout

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Goldman Execs Sold $700M Of Stock, Most Of It During Their Bailout
Executives at Goldman Sachs sold almost $700m worth of stock following the collapse of Lehman Brothers last September, according to filings with the Securities and…

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Olbermann Awards “World’s Worst Person” To Pastor Who Admits Praying For Obama’s Death (VIDEO)
Rush Limbaugh took the Bronze in Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Persons in the World” segment for his statement that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s ‘wise latina’…


Conservative media distort Ginsburg interview to claim she “thought Roe v. Wade was a way to weed out undesirables”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Conservative media distort Ginsburg interview to claim she “thought Roe v. Wade was a way to weed out undesirables”

Following a July 7 New York Times Magazine interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, conservative media have distorted Ginsburg’s comments on abortion to claim that she, in the words of Fox News and radio host Glenn Beck, “thought Roe v. Wade was a way to weed out undesirables.” In fact, in the interview, Ginsburg was attributing that sentiment to others.

From the New York Times Magazine interview:

Q: If you were a lawyer again, what would you want to accomplish as a future feminist legal agenda?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.

Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

Instances of conservative media figures and outlets that have distorted Ginsburg’s interview to smear her are listed below:

  • During the July 13 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh read a portion of Ginsburg’s comments and stated, “I think in Ruth ‘Buzzi’ Ginsburg’s case, when she says that she thinks Roe was about population growth, particularly growth in populations you don’t want to have too many of, she’s probably thinking about aborting conservatives.” He went on to add, “Now, what’s astounding about this is that a matriarch of modern liberalism was candid about the underlying objective of the abortion movement — that is to rid society of entire populations deemed unworthy.”
  • During the July 13 edition of his radio program, Beck stated: “[H]as anybody really talked about Ginsburg and what she said last week about how she thought Roe v. Wade was a way to weed out undesirables? Excuse me?” He went on to assert that “progressives believe and always have — look up the history of Planned Parenthood — that it is a way to weed out undesirables. Now we have a Supreme Court justice who said, yeah, well that was pretty much my philosophy.”
  • Despite providing the relevant transcript from the Times interview, a July 8 WorldNetDaily article claimed that “[i]n an astonishing admission, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she was under the impression that legalizing abortion with the 1973 Roe. v. Wade case would eliminate undesirable members of the populace, or as she put it ‘populations that we don’t want to have too many of.’ ” The article was linked to by the Fox Nation with the headline, “Ginsburg: I Thought Roe Was to Rid Undesirables.”
  • A July 8 post on the National Review Online blog Bench Memos also provided the relevant portion of Ginsburg’s comments but concluded, “Gee, Justice Ginsburg, would you like to tell us more about your views on those populations that ‘we don’t want to have too many of’?”

From the July 13 of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: I’m going to talk a little bit about the Sotomayor hearings today. But I think this is just another classic case of misdirection. She is expected today to address the “wise Latina” bullcrap that she — that spilled out of her mouth not once, not twice, but five different times. Meanwhile, while we’re paying attention to this, there’s a lot of other things that are going on, including — has anybody really talked about Ginsburg and what she said last week about how she thought Roe v. Wade was a way to weed out undesirables?

Excuse me? I thought this was about a woman’s right to choose. No, the progressives believe and always have — look up the history of Planned Parenthood — that it is a way to weed out undesirables. Now we have a Supreme Court justice who said, yeah, well that was pretty much my philosophy. Is anybody talking about that? The coming — the coming full implementation of the ideas of the progressive movement is absolutely horrifying. Sotomayor, she is a — I, you know, I think that she is a — she’s a Trojan horse.

From the July 13 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: The Sunday New York Times published a recent interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth “Buzzi” Ginsburg, and after expressing her annoyance over a 1980 decision that forbids using Medicaid tax dollars for abortions, Justice Ginsburg said this — I want to quote it: “Frankly, I had thought at the time that Roe was decided that there was concern about population growth, particularly growth in populations we don’t want to have too many of, so that Roe was going to then be set up for Medicaid funding for abortion,” unquote.

Now growth in populations we don’t want to have too many — that’s Planned Parenthood. That was the original goal of Planned Parenthood. The original goal of Planned Parenthood was to abort various minorities out of existence. That was the original purpose. I think in Ruth “Buzzi” Ginsburg’s case, when she says that she thinks Roe was about population growth, particularly growth in populations you don’t want to have too many of, she’s probably thinking about aborting conservatives. But the problem with that is it’s the liberals that are aborting each other, or themselves — their future generations.

Now, what’s astounding about this is that a matriarch of modern liberalism was candid about the underlying objective of the abortion movement — that is to rid society of entire populations deemed unworthy. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an early proponent of this. You know, it’s called eugenics. And her aim was to wipe out the African-American population.

Other infamous world figures acted upon similar instincts using other means to object — achieve their objectives: concentration camps, mass gassings, so-called ethnic cleansings. Planned Parenthood’s no different — Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood no different than any of the people that used concentration camps, mass gassing, so-called ethnic cleansings.

And what’s just ironic as it can be is that the primary supporters of Planned Parenthood are liberals. And it’s — but here comes Ruth “Buzzi” Ginsburg just out of the box admitting what this is all about.


Coburn On Hampton Claims: “Ask What’s the Motivation Here”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Coburn On Hampton Claims: “Ask What’s the Motivation Here”
It looks like when Tom Coburn denied today that he urged his friend John Ensign to pay restitution to the family of the woman he had an affair with, the Oklahoma senator wasn’t speaking just to Roll Call (sub. req.)….

Did Santorum Tip Off Ensign?
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The Coming Palination of America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

The Coming Palination of America
Cover Art by: ART GATES


Washington, D.C. Thrives During Recession

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Washington, D.C. Thrives During Recession
New Geography: “No matter how far the economy falters, there is always a winner. And no city does better when the nation is at the brink of disaster than Washington, DC. Since December 2007, when the current recession formally began, the nation has lost approximately 6 million jobs. Only two states, Alaska and North Dakota, have lost a smaller percentage of jobs than Washington, DC, which has seen a job loss of 0.6%, or 4,400. Simply put, Washington has done better in this recession than 48 of the fifty states when it comes to job performance.”

Christie Expands Lead Over Corzine
A new Quinnipiac Poll in New Jersey finds Chris Christie (R) leading the incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine (D) by 12 points, 53% to 41%, among likely voters.

Last month’s poll had Christie up by 10 points. Corzine released an internal poll late last week which claimed the race was tightening.

In a three-way matchup that includes independent Christopher Daggett, Christie leads Corzine 47% to 38%, with Daggett getting 8% support.

Meanwhile, a poll done for the Republican Governor’s Association shows Christie leading by 15 points, 48% to 33%.


How Bad Will the Economy Get? Really, Really Bad

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

How Bad Will the Economy Get? Really, Really Bad
Historically, every financial and economic crisis has been used to further centralize power and concentrate wealth. This one is no different.

Rachel Maddow: GOP Sex Scandal Exposes Secretive Conservative Religious Group — ‘The Family’
Sen. John Ensign's affair has brought unwanted attention on a powerful religious network in Washington.

Rabid Anti-Abortionist Tries to Use Sotomayor Hearings for Comeback
Infamous Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry employs his gory protest tactics in Washington to assail Sotomayor's record on reproductive rights.



Losing Faith in Financial Markets

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Losing Faith in Financial Markets
The myth of the rational market caused plenty of mischief when it was applied to personal finance. Those of us that followed the advice to invest our kids’ college savings in index funds in the late 1990s, when the…






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Is the GOP candidate for Kansas Secretary of State an Obama birther?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Is the GOP candidate for Kansas Secretary of State an Obama birther?
The Leavenworth County Republican Party in Kansas held a BBQ on Saturday that attracted state bigwigs such as Sen. Sam Brownback and Rep. Todd Tiahrt. Also in attendance was Kris Kobach, who is running for state attorney general and revealed that he may be a birther when he talked about voter ID issues: Kobach […]

kobachk The Leavenworth County Republican Party in Kansas held a BBQ on Saturday that attracted state bigwigs such as Sen. Sam Brownback and Rep. Todd Tiahrt. Also in attendance was Kris Kobach, who is running for state attorney general and revealed that he may be a birther when he talked about voter ID issues:

Kobach told the group he would fight for the requirement of providing proof of citizenship at election booths. He said photo identification is required when boarding a plane or buying certain spray paints and medication. He wants the same when trying to combat voter fraud.

A professor of law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kobach kept the mood light with a political joke. He asked what President Obama and God had in common, with the punchline being neither has a birth certificate.

The difference between the two? God only takes 10 percent of a person’s income, Kobach joked.

As Dave Weigel notes, Kobach is “a Marshall scholar and Yale Law grad who was chairman of the state GOP until earlier this year, is considered a frontrunner for the job with jurisdiction over elections in Kansas.” An inquiry to Kobach’s camaign on whether or not he believes President Obama is a U.S. citizen has not yet been returned.

Reed starting ?hipper? Christian Coalition.
After years of scandals and political defeats, it appears Ralph Reed is going to try for a political comeback. Reed is creating a new advocacy group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The latest venture, Reed says, will focus on “finding and training the next generation of conservative leaders, […]

ralphreedtime After years of scandals and political defeats, it appears Ralph Reed is going to try for a political comeback. Reed is creating a new advocacy group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The latest venture, Reed says, will focus on “finding and training the next generation of conservative leaders, volunteers and activists” and serve as a Christian Coalition 2.0 for conservative voters of faith:

“This is not going to be your daddy’s Christian Coalition,” Reed said in an interview to describe his new venture, the Faith and Freedom Coalition. “It has to be younger, hipper, less strident, more inclusive and it has to harness the 21st century that will enable us to win in the future.” […]

“Even though I’ve been doing other things, this is kind of like Steve Jobs returning to Apple,” Reed said.

In 1997, Reed was forced to leave the Christian Coalition “as the Federal Election Commission was investigating whether it violated campaign finance rules. By 1999, the IRS had revoked the Coalition’s tax-exempt status for taking partisan stands in elections.” (HT: Taegan Goddard)


President Obama Announces Surgeon General Nominee

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 14th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

President Obama Announces Surgeon General Nominee
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