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Archive for June 16th, 2010

American Waged Solo Bin Laden Hunt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:52 am by HL

American Waged Solo Bin Laden Hunt
A 52-year-old Californian who was detained in Pakistan was engaged in a one-man hunt for Osama Bin Laden, he told Pakistani authorities. Gary Brooks Faulkner had a pistol, dagger and a sword and was carrying Christian literature. “We initially laughed when he told us that he wanted to kill Osama Bin Laden,” police spokesman Mumtaz Ahmad Khan said.


Late Late Night FDL: Sam Is Bad To The Bone

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:51 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Sam Is Bad To The Bone
Yosemite Sam clips set to George Thorogood and The DestroyersYosemite Sam Is Bad To The Bone.

Yosemite Sam clips set to George Thorogood and The DestroyersYosemite Sam Is Bad To The Bone.

What’s on your mind?

Going small versus going crazy
It used to be said that Democrats cannot run an election and the GOP cannot govern — I guess it can still be put that way.

(photo via chathamshooter at Flickr)

I’m just another blogger who doesn’t conduct themselves in a James Risen-approved manner. However, it does seem sometimes that there are three general types of American elected officials: the Republicans leased by the oil industry from the NRA; those Democrats leased by the oil industry from the DLC; and the remaining Democrats who are not, but wonder if they’ve made a mistake?

I don’t expect the President of the United States to be the P.O.’d-in-Chief, but I do expect them to make a hell of a lot more of an opportunity to enact, y’know, CHANGE, when the opportunity is presented. But I do think I understand Rahm Emanuel’s plan — and let’s just get rid of the facade — the President’s plan.

“We may think disappointingly small, but at least we’re not crazy!”

I graduated from a State University belonging to an athletic conference that cannot perform simple addition, but even I know that in 2010, like Clinton in 1994, Obama is asking his base to vote against something without generating much enthusiasm for himself or the Party. That does seem to be going awfully small and, yes, even a tad crazy.


Invitation to ‘La Danse’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:50 am by HL

Invitation to ‘La Danse’
Frederick Wiseman’s new documentary, “La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet,” is a celebration of the ephemeral nature of performance and the fleeting glory of the human body.

La Danse

Frederick Wiseman’s new documentary, “La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet,” is a celebration of the ephemeral nature of performance and the fleeting glory of the human body.

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British PM Apologizes for ‘Bloody Sunday’ Killings
On Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron faced the daunting task of answering for one of the U.K.’s most volatile historical episodes: the so-called Bloody Sunday shootings in Northern Ireland in 1972. Cameron formally apologized for the loss of 14 lives during and after the incident and unequivocally stated that the British army was to blame for setting off the violence.  —KA BBC: Thirteen marchers were shot dead on 30 January 1972 in Londonderry when British paratroopers opened fire on crowds at a civil rights demonstration. Fourteen others were wounded, one later died. The Saville Report is heavily critical of the Army and found that soldiers fired the first shot. Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “deeply sorry”. He said that the findings of the Saville Report were “shocking”. Read more

Cameron

On Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron faced the daunting task of answering for one of the U.K.’s most volatile historical episodes: the so-called Bloody Sunday shootings in Northern Ireland in 1972. Cameron formally apologized for the loss of 14 lives during and after the incident and unequivocally stated that the British army was to blame for setting off the violence.? —KA

BBC:

Thirteen marchers were shot dead on 30 January 1972 in Londonderry when British paratroopers opened fire on crowds at a civil rights demonstration.

Fourteen others were wounded, one later died. The Saville Report is heavily critical of the Army and found that soldiers fired the first shot.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “deeply sorry”.

He said that the findings of the Saville Report were “shocking”.

Read more

Related Entries



Robert Scheer: Rape and Spillage

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Robert Scheer: Rape and Spillage
What’s with the president’s war analogy on the oil spill? It’s as if some alien force, “The Invasion of the Slippery Sludge,” suddenly attacked us….

Sharron Angle Quit Republican Party At Height Of Reagan Years, Was Democrat & Independent American
WASHINGTON — Nevada Senate nominee Sharron Angle, a tea party favorite who describes herself as a conservative’s conservative, left the Republican Party at the height…

Marcia DeSanctis: President Expectation
In his address tonight, the President came across neither as an empath nor a hothead – both characteristics that critics have been calling for, loudly,…

Joseph A. Palermo: Obama’s “Fireside Chat” (FDR or Jimmy Carter?)
Obama’s talk tonight was dominated by a technocratic laundry list of actions he plans to take. We’ve heard it all before. Obama should have made it clear tonight that the coddling of BP is over.


Witch hunt: Fox smearing DOJ nominee Cole as sympathetic to terrorists

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Witch hunt: Fox smearing DOJ nominee Cole as sympathetic to terrorists

Fox News and others are attacking James Cole, President Obama’s nominee for deputy attorney general, by suggesting he is sympathetic toward terrorists due to his criticism of the Bush administration’s approach to trying terror suspects. In fact, many of the policies Cole criticized have since been found to be unconstitutional, and his views are shared by numerous conservative scholars.

Right-wing media attack Cole for non-controversial statements on drug war, civil liberties

Carlson: “[S]ome people, specifically Republicans, are a little disturbed by the fact that [Cole] may actually get this job.” On the June 15 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson said: “Here are why some people, specifically Republicans, are a little disturbed by the fact that he may actually get this job. He’s said some interesting things about 9-11.” Carlson also claimed Cole “has written an editorial where he believes 9-11 was more of a criminal act than an act of war.”

Doocy attacked Cole’s remarks about the war on drugs. Co-host Steve Doocy claimed, as one of the “interesting things” Carlson referred to, “He compared 9-11 to the war on drugs. He’s saying it was actually — war on drugs, actually a longer term and far more devastating disaster for our country in terms of the number of people affected. The war on drugs over the war on terror that started with 9-11.”

Kilmeade claimed Cole said 9-11 is “like an ordinary murder, rape or mafia-type crime. Good, fantastic.” Co-host Brian Kilmeade distorted Cole’s comments to claim “He went on to say it’s like an ordinary murder, rape or mafia-type crime. Good, fantastic. I’ll tell you what, this guy profiles exactly like someone who worked in perfect tandem with Eric Holder because they believe the same things.”

CNS: Cole “liken[ed] the attacks on the World Trade Center” to “domestic crimes.” In a June 14 CNS News states: “The largest bipartisan group of prominent Americans to propose a plan for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility has backed a single scheme for the disposition of cases of current and future detainees. Former members of Congress, diplomats, federal judges and prosecutors, high-level military and government officials, as well as national security experts today [November 4, 2009] backed a plan for the handling of detainees when the detention facility is closed.”

Constitution Project Declaration: “Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases.” From the Constitution Project’s The Constitution Project]

Declaration signed by numerous retired generals, admirals, legal experts, and conservatives, including Grover Norquist, Barry Goldwater Jr., and David Keene. The signatories of the Constitution Project’s Beyond Guantanamo: A Bipartisan Declaration include Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; former Rep. Thomas B. Evans Jr. (R-DE), a former co-chairman of the Republican National Committee; Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and board member of the National Rifle Association, and former Reps. Goldwater, Jr. (R-CA) and Bob Barr (R-GA). Other signatories include retired generals, admirals and legal experts.

Recent report from 16 former federal judges found that “the habeas process” instituted after Boumediene v. Bush “is working.” As The Constitution Project noted, in Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court “ruled that the constitutionally guaranteed right of habeas corpus review applies to the Guantánamo detainees, enabling them to challenge their detention in federal court.” On June 10, the Constitution Project and Human Rights First “released a report from 16 former federal judges, with a combined experience of 248 years on the federal bench, entitled Habeas Works: Federal Courts’ Proven Capacity to Handle Guantánamo Cases. In this report, the judges show that the habeas process is working and that the federal courts have developed consistent jurisprudence on standards to be applied and the procedural and evidentiary rules governing Guantánamo habeas cases.” From the Constitution Project:

As they have done for centuries, judges are reviewing these habeas petitions to assess whether each detainee is properly being held. Contrary to the criticism leveled by some that the District Court judges are usurping the role of legislators, the report demonstrates that judges are playing an appropriate constitutional role and are fulfilling the duty they’ve been charged with: applying the law to the facts in these cases.

[…]

Judge Sessions, a signatory of the report, shared his opinion that the courts have been successful in developing a consistent jurisprudence. “The courts have been struggling with it and been making very good and sound headway trying to determine how to deal those people who have been placed in Guantanamo and whether and how they are entitled to be released,” Judge Sessions said.

Judge Sessions explained that the road ahead for the future of habeas litigation would not necessarily be clear cut, but that placing the responsibility in the hands of the courts was the best solution. “We are going to continue to deal with problems and procedures, but the courts are equipped to deal with this issue and are the right people to handle this,” he said.

The War on Drugs has lasted almost 40 years and affected millions

Bureau of Justice Statistics: 1.8 million drug-related arrests in 2007. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1,841,200 arrests were made for drug-related offenses in 2007 alone, which comprised almost 13% of arrests for all offenses. From the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

AP: “[T]he United States’ war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives.” A May 13 Associated Press article stated, “After 40 years, the United States’ war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives.” The article also noted, “The dealers who are caught have overwhelmed justice systems in the United States and elsewhere. U.S. prosecutors declined to file charges in 7,482 drug cases last year, most because they simply didn’t have the time. That’s about one out of every four drug cases.”

Cato Institute: There are “about 480,000 drug offenders in jails and prisons.” According to the Cato Institute’s 2009 “Handbook for Policymakers“:

Total drug arrests are now more than 1.5 million a year. Since 1989, more people have been incarcerated for drug offenses than for all violent crimes combined. There are now about 480,000 drug offenders in jails and prisons, and about 50 percent of the federal prison population consists of drug offenders.

DOJ: “Approximately 4 percent of all homicides in 2008 were drug-related.” The Department of Justice estimated that “[a]pproximately 4 percent of all homicides in 2008 were drug-related, a percentage that has not changed significantly over the same 20-year period.” According to the DOJ:

The most recent annual data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) show that 12.2 percent of more than 14 million arrests in 2008 were for drug violations, the most common arrest crime category. The proportion of total drug arrests has increased over the past 20 years: in 1987, only 7.4 percent of all arrests were for drug violations. Approximately 4 percent of all homicides in 2008 were drug-related, a percentage that has not changed significantly over the same 20-year period.

The characteristics of populations under correctional supervision reflect these arrest patterns. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 20 percent of state prisoners and 53 percent of federal prisoners are incarcerated because of a drug offense. Moreover, 27 percent of individuals on probation and 37 percent of individuals on parole at the end of 2007 had committed a drug offense.

Cole has support of “a broad coalition of groups”

NPR: Cole “has won support from a broad coalition of groups, including the National District Attorneys Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense lawyers.” NPR reported on June 15 that “Cole has won support from a broad coalition of groups, including the National District Attorneys Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense lawyers. The American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, which Cole once led, also wrote senators a letter urging his confirmation.” The article added:

The lesson of Cole may be this: Any lawyer who has spent 30 years pursuing high-stakes cases in Washington will develop his share of detractors. And they will reappear exactly when someone is on track to get a plum government job.

Former GOP Sen. Danforth: Cole is “exceedingly knowledgeable,” “highly regarded,” “serious and careful.” In his June 1 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, former Republican Sen. John C. Danforth (MO) wrote in support of Cole’s nomination, saying:

Jim is a “lawyer’s lawyer.” He is exceedingly knowledgeable, especially on matters relating to legal and business ethics, public integrity and compliance with government regulations. He is highly regarded at Bryan Cave as a skillful litigator. As his resume demonstrates, he has long and deep experience in the Department of Justice.

Jim Cole is both serious and careful. As I observed when working with him, he is intent on advising clients to do the right thing and avoid even the slightest hint of impropriety. His standard is to know and respect the rules and to conduct oneself in a manner that is beyond reproach.

When in 1999-2000 I served as Special Counsel to investigate the Branch Davidian disaster at Waco, Texas, Jim was the model for how to conduct the investigation: thoroughness, objectivity and no leaks. As he has been the model for our Firm, I am certain he will be the same for the Department of Justice. He has my enthusiastic endorsement for Deputy Attorney General.

Reagan Justice official: Cole’s “distinguished record of government service at the Justice Department, as well as his extensive experience in private practice makes him well-qualified.” W. Stephen Cannon — formerly Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President Reagan — also wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Cole’s nomination. In his June 7 letter, Cannon wrote that he “enthusiastically endorse[s] Jim’s nomination and firmly believe the President has made an excellent choice. Jim’s distinguished record of government service at the Justice Department, as well as his extensive experience in private practice makes him well-qualified to handle this difficult job. If confirmed, I’m confident Jim will serve with great skill and distinction.”

Bush campaign aide, former RNC deputy chairman: “Cole has my highest recommendation.” Jack L. Oliver — whose past work included serving as Bush-Cheney ’04’s finance vice chairmen, deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee, and finance director of Bush for President 2000 — also wrote “in strong support of Jim Cole’s nomination to serve as Deputy Attorney General of the United States.” Oliver wrote on June 7:

I have always been tremendously impressed with the thoroughness and professionalism by which Mr. Cole has conducted himself. Therefore, Mr. Cole has my highest recommendation to serve as Deputy Attorney General of the United states and it is an honor to have the opportunity to write on Mr. Cole’s behalf. If confirmed, I believe that Mr. Cole would serve the Department of Justice and the country with great distinction in the years ahead.


CREW Calls For Investigation Of South Carolina Primary Shenanigans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

CREW Calls For Investigation Of South Carolina Primary Shenanigans
Ethics watchdog group asks for South Carolina to launch an investigation into last week’s primary and Alvin Greene’s candidacy. CREW also files FEC complaint about three Democrats’ failure to file campaign finance reports.



South CarolinaAlvin GreeneDemocraticFederal Election CommissionUnited States

Rand Paul Defends His National Board of Ophthalmology In Certification Flap
The Louisville Courier-Journal has a much-discussed story today about Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul and his lack of certification from a mainstream ophthalmology board. As we reported last month, Paul is the founder and president of the National Board…



Rand PaulCourier JournalKentuckyUnited States SenateLouisville Courier-Journal

The Alvin Greene Story: No One Heard Of Vic Rawl, Either
For all his campaigning, Vic Rawl had no more name recognition than Alvin Greene.



South CarolinaAlvin GreeneSenateUnited StatesVic Rawl


Federal panel of scientists sharply increase estimate of leaking oil – finally the truth?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Federal panel of scientists sharply increase estimate of leaking oil – finally the truth?
Author’s note: As I say in the article, I am beginning to think BP and the federal government are conditioning the American people to slowly accept the magnitude of this disaster. I was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech tonight…WTF!?! He asked as to pray for the shrimpers! And restoring the Gulf to it’s original condition […]


Pawlenty Sets Up PACs in Iowa, New Hampshire

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Pawlenty Sets Up PACs in Iowa, New Hampshire
The Des Moines Register and New Hampshire Union Leader report that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) has created state political action committees in Iowa and New Hampshire to help local candidates running in elections this year.

The move is a first by a would-be presidential prospect although Pawlenty aides insist the maneuver is solely about this November’s elections.

David Denies Rumor of Gore Affair
Laurie David told the Huffington Post that a tabloid report that she is having an affair with Al Gore is an absolute lie.

Said David: “The story is completely untrue. It’s a total fabrication. I adore both Al and Tipper. I look at them both as family. And I have happily been in a serious relationship since my divorce.”

New Poll Bolsters Democrats
After a very discouraging poll for Democrats yesterday, a new Associated Press/GfK poll finds people want Democrats to win control of Congress by a 46% to 39% margin. That is the second straight month in which Democrats have held an advantage on that question in the survey since April, when Republicans held a small edge.


The U.S. War Addiction: Funding Enemies to Maintain Trillion Dollar Racket

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

The U.S. War Addiction: Funding Enemies to Maintain Trillion Dollar Racket
Four ways to see the true drivers of current wars around the world.

Four ways to see the true drivers of current wars around the world.

How the U.S. Corporate Media Got the Israel Flotilla Catastrophe So Wrong
Israel’s official statements about the flotilla were terrible. But our media’s treatment of the situation was just as bad.

Israel's official statements about the flotilla were terrible. But our media's treatment of the situation was just as bad.

Arch-Conservative U.S. Christians Help Uganda ‘Kill-the-Gays’ Bill Stay Alive
Uganda’s anti-gay bill, which espouses the death penalty for homosexual acts, still lives — with the help of the U.S. religious right.

Uganda's anti-gay bill, which espouses the death penalty for homosexual acts, still lives — with the help of the U.S. religious right.

Is New Environmentalism the Answer or the Problem?
Is "New Environmentalism" really forward-looking, or will it simply reinforce and accelerate the forces that got us into the climate crisis in the first place?

Is "New Environmentalism" really forward-looking, or will it simply reinforce and accelerate the forces that got us into the climate crisis in the first place?

Utter Failure; It’s Time to Rethink the Prison System
With 2.3 million people in America’s prison system, we’ve literally become our own jailers. It’s time to call for a compassionate — and more effective — judicial system.

With 2.3 million people in America's prison system, we've literally become our own jailers. It's time to call for a compassionate — and more effective — judicial system.


BP: It’s Not a Contest Between the US and Britain; It’s a Contest Between Citizenship Interests and Shareholder Interests

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

BP: It’s Not a Contest Between the US and Britain; It’s a Contest Between Citizenship Interests and Shareholder Interests
This from today’s Wall Street Journal: In a letter sent Sunday to U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson, BP said it expects to have the capacity to capture between 40,000 and 53,000 barrels of oil a day by the…



United StatesWall Street JournalUnited States Coast GuardUS Coast Guard Rear Admiral James WatsonBP

National Security (Political) Strategy
With an eye toward how national security and foreign policy issues will play in the mid-terms, we have interesting new polling results from Third Way and Democracy Corps. It’s definitely worth reading the whole accompanying memo, Toward Renewal and Leadership….


National securityUnited StatesThird WayDemocracyForeign policy

Alter Alternative
I’m intrigued that Jonathan Alter expected Obama to ace communications and struggle in executive leadership. After observing Obama and his team during the 2008 campaign, I would have expected the opposite. Obama can be a gifted orator (though to…



Jonathan AlterBarack ObamaPresidentUnited StatesHistory