Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

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    Pat Buchanan is a smart guy, but he frequently (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 03:47:32 PM EST
    reveals his inner racist. Today on the McLaughlin Group he blamed the high foreclosure rates in Florida, Nevada, and California on illegal immigrants. Eleanor Clift had to remind him that, actually, flippers were the problem, by and large.  

    Oh, and I missed the other Sunday shows (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 03:50:04 PM EST
    Though apparently Rahm shot down the WORM that the administration would investigate or prosecute the torture policy makers.

    Are you saying he made clear (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 03:56:23 PM EST
    that as far as Obama is concerned, it's over?  That he released the memos as he was required to do, and that's it?

    So much for accountability, huh?

    Really, words cannot adequately express how that makes me feel.


    Second hand, so I'm not sure (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 03:58:14 PM EST
    But I think that was Rahm message, yes.

    Rahm said it... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Edger on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:03:44 PM EST
    ABC News "This Week" online headline reads:

    "Obama Administration: No Prosecution of Officials for Bush-Era Torture Policy"

    Rahm Emanuel on This Week says: No Prosecution of Officials for Bush-Era Torture Policy.

    another link, more general to the ABC show

    GS: I asked [Rahm] Emanuel: "The president has ruled out prosecution for CIA officials who believed they were following the law. Does he believe that the officials who devised the policies should be immune from prosecution?"

    [Rahm] Emanuel: "He believes that, look, as you saw in that statement he wrote, let's just take a step back. He came up with this and worked on this for about four weeks. Wrote that statement Wednesday night after he had made his decision and dictated what he wanted to see. And Thursday morning I saw him in the office, he was still editing it. He believes that people in good faith were operating with the guidance they were provided," Emanuel said.

    What about those who devised the policy, I asked?

    "Yeah, but those who devised the policy, he believes that they were, should not be prosecuted either," Emanuel said.

    Shouldn't it be online somewhere? (none / 0) (#6)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 03:59:07 PM EST
    In looking at Think Progress, though, (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:07:51 PM EST
    I found these:

    Marcy Wheeler digs through the recently-disclosed Office of Legal Counsel memos authored by the Bush Justice Department and finds these startling statistics: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002. Wheeler concludes, "The CIA wants you to believe waterboarding is effective. Yet somehow, it took them 183 applications of the waterboard in a one month period to get what they claimed was cooperation out of KSM. That doesn't sound very effective to me."


    But in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Manfred Nowak, explained that Obama's grant of immunity is likely a violation of international law. As a party to the UN Convention Against Torture, the U.S. is obligated to investigate and prosecute U.S. citizens that are believed to have engaged in torture:

    STANDARD: CIA torturers are according to U.S. President Obama not to be prosecuted. Is that decision supportable?

    NOWAK: Absolutely not. The United States has, like all other Contracting Parties to the UN Convention Against Torture, committed itself to investigate instances of torture and to prosecute all cases in which credible evidence of torture is found.

    Indeed, Article 2 of the convention on torture explains that "no exceptional circumstances whatsoever" can be used to legally justify torture. Further, the convention states that an "order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture."

    Obama may want this to be over, to "move forward," but I think maybe it's not going to do that without accountability and consequence.


    Yikes (none / 0) (#14)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:22:09 PM EST
    almost 6 times a day in March?!

    McCaskill was on. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:04:58 PM EST
    And said that Bybee should be impeached. But that no CIA officers should be prosecuted for carrying out their orders.

    Well, then. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:03:05 PM EST
    You missed General Hayden telling Chris Wallace that Obama had endangered the security of our country by releasing the documents, and that the CIA could now no longer function with integrity, and that those torture sessions saved us from another 9/11.

    Monsters (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:09:38 PM EST
    It's obvious that it's Gen. Hayden who is (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by DeborahNC on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 12:55:18 AM EST
    threatening our country, since our system of government is based on transparency through the use of checks and balances,that are necessary to maintain a viable and effectively functioning constitutional democracy.

    It appears that Hayden would prefer the system of secrecy in government that was propagated throughtout the  Bush administration.

    The torture issue is just a small portion of their government of secrecy. Just this week, it was revealed that secret surveillance by the NSA was much more widespread that first reported.

    These are the tactics of totalitarianism, not of  constitutional democracies.

    People like Hayden should be prosecuted, because people with similar ideas are the ones that have tried to create new secret laws and have perpetuated the concepts of secrecy in governance.


    I have a rant today : ) (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by IzikLA on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:34:45 PM EST
    I would love to hear from others.

    Even today the Obama administration is out there talking about how to help the little guy instead of just Wall Street.  There is all this talk about the stimulus and that extra 15 dollars we'll receive each pay period.

    Well, apparently todays topic is about credit and how we have been tricked into accepting credit with high rates, etc.  Aside from the fact that it makes a "little guy" like myself (to whom it's aimed I presume) sound stupid, my issue is probably not unlike many other people out there.

    I make a decent amount of money AND I have a decent amount of credit card debt.  Well, over the last 9 months or so I have had both of my major credit cards not only raise their interest rates but DOUBLE them.  My only recourse has been to cancel the cards and pay them off on my own time or to just accept their new terms.  This, mind you, is after both financial institutions have accepted billions of dollars in federal money (widely reported in the news).

    I could go on and on about this but suffice it to say, I am at a point where I am really beginning to wonder why no one is talking about this (are they?).  I am quite sure this is happening to people across the board and I am surprised that there is no discussion about it.  That raised APR is costing me a fortune and forcing me to make tough decisions.  And I am.  But I don't think everyone can.  

    These are the things that infuriate the public.  These are the things that make me wonder why we just have to sit back and take it.  

    Where is the outrage?

    It's f*cked up... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 08:22:22 AM EST
    to be sure, but the outrage should be directed at the handouts made to these banks who never pass up a chance to bleed you dry...I really don't care what APR they charge, no one is forced to do business with these leeches.

    It sucks that the fine print allows them to change terms at whim...but now you know not to be fooled twice.  Cut them cards up.


    Today Esa Pekka Salonen completed his (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 12:29:19 AM EST
    17-yr. tenure as artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  I was fortunate to get a ticket.  Wonderful.  

    Davis turned down (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 03:51:10 PM EST
    The basis on which 2 of 3 justices turned down the appeal of Troy Davis for a new trial was reported as being that Davis was not able to present evidence of his innocence.

    Does he have to now prove innocence?
    Isn't it enough that there is sufficient reason to believe that since  witnesses against him have recanted their testimony, the State would be unlikely to obtain a conviction were a new trial to be held?

    What is going on here?

    Fareed Zakaria is in (none / 0) (#9)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:04:36 PM EST
    re-run right now on CNN and he just said that the Pakistani government could fall within the month.

    That got my attention.  

    I watched earlier today (none / 0) (#13)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:20:57 PM EST
    here's a link

    We the people are the government (none / 0) (#15)
    by joze46 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 05:08:51 PM EST
    Watching C-Span, with a panel discussion of Government secrecy, and National Security. My conclusion, America, we the people have been totally abused by those in Government Secrecy. The ninth Amendment could very well be an ignored amendment for a century and a half by our very own Supreme Court.

    Here, for another century an unconstitutional law by Congress to delegate a secret society to distribute tax payer money is absurd and wrong, worse done with secrecy, no audits and no known return. Everyone should be totally convinced that the abolishment of the Federal Reserve is in order.

    There is no such thing as National Security without everyone understanding what is going on. Why even suggest it's National if everyone does not know what going on.  Of course we are all in this government together, It is an incredible delusion to believe that the electorate should not know what is good, or not. It's pathetic to think the electorate does not need to know what such importance is, or discover what simple truths will be necessary to be secure in life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    For me having thought about this plenty of times and the logic is going ass backwards.

    We the people are in a stupid funk to believe that in order to have life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those most serious things's needed to know, must be secret. What a growing joke.

    Isn't it amazing Republicans dance around deregulation but want Supreme control over wire taping, or no controls over banking, but secretly give money via the federal reserve when screw ups are made to who knows who for nobody knows what reasons, the dance gets better all the while claiming America should be run like a business yet now realize bailing out business we the people would like to terminate some managers and CEO's plus get a reasonable return on the investment loaned.

    Gee, now they want to give back the money because they thought it was for free and say it's unfair to fire management. Wow we the people gave management a taste of the "At will principle". Does not feel so good does it? Nope, this America run like a business is going out the window isn't it? Well there goes the Romney's Nomination. Oh yes and Ronald Reagan, when he said Government is the problem, Sheesh, are not "We The People" the government? Yikes.        

    Saberi (none / 0) (#16)
    by Politalkix on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 05:12:16 PM EST
    More on the Saberi saga [link].

    Bailout conversion to Equity (none / 0) (#18)
    by Politalkix on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 08:51:46 PM EST
    The New York Times is reporting on it. [link]

    this is THE cutest thing (none / 0) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 02:15:33 PM EST
    I have ever seen

    make sure you watch it long enough to check out the hang dog expression on its little face when she stops.