Is Obama Like Bush On Terror Policy?

Dick Cheney and Glenn Greenwald think so. I think that is a severe exaggeration. I'll try and explain why later this week.

What do you think? Let's make this an Open Thread.

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    I can't think of one thing Obama has changed (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:33:09 AM EST
    about the Bush era terror policy. Maybe BTD will remind me when he elaborates. OK, the color alert system has gone by the wayside, and Napolitano now personally tells us via video to increase our situational awareness, but those are techniques rather than policy changes.

    Obama does not talk about terror as much and try to stoke the fear, and that is a welcome change IMO. Personally I appreciate the less emotional style. I know others differ.

    But the policies I find most odious have not changed as far as I can tell.

    Napolitano's "If you see it ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:40:36 AM EST
    say it" isn't an improvement in tactics.  Just more Big Brother-ish creepiness.  And the partnering with Walmart?  That's satire that just writes itself.

    SCOTUS decision (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:32:02 AM EST
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from opponents of same-sex marriage who want to overturn the District of Columbia's gay marriage law.

    The court did not comment Tuesday in turning away a challenge from a Maryland pastor and others who are trying to get a measure on the ballot to allow Washingtonians to vote on a measure that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. link

    The Carafano quote nails it: (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:44:26 AM EST
    It's really, really hard to find a difference that's meaningful and not atmospheric.

    It seems "atmospherics" are enough for many soppy, bloggy types.  For people who really care about this stuff?  Not so much.

    Not even close (4.33 / 3) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:56:18 AM EST
    Long gone is the demonization speeches about the axis of evil, and Obama has never once tried to step up to the podium and sell the country flat out lies in an attempt to take over an oil rich country, nor has he insisted that Al Qaeda connections exist where they do not.

    There are some things that Obama has done that has codified our fight against terrorism into law, that is true.  What is also true, even though we often do not want to admit it, is that we have a terrorism problem and to ignore that will spell a certain political death for any leader who refuses to deal with that reality.  When there are laws in use to visit there is a framework to work within and to criticize and change.  The very worst things that happened under Bush happened in the fuzzy lawlessness that was perpetuated because it was useful to them when they wanted to do horrible things to human beings.

    Dick Cheney only wishes he could ride one coattail of President Obama when it comes to dealing with national security and how we go about it.  All I can say to that is that our current President has never and I believe is also incapable of holding off on leveling an entire city and melting the people that live there in order to win an election, and as soon as the election was won went in and melted people....some of them disabled and housebound and lying in their beds.

    Obama may be spending less time on (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:38:02 PM EST
    rhetorical flourish because his administration is busy quietly doing things that significantly undermine the rights and protections we used to be afforded.  I would read about Gulet Mohamed, a 19 yr old Somali-born US citizen who was put on the no-fly list, detained in Kuwait and been subject to interrogation for several weeks for no discernible reason.  I would do some reading about US citizens returning to this country only to have all of their electronic devices confiscated and searched, all without explanation much less warrants.

    You don't have to give speeches about the axis of evil to be perpetrating evil on your fellow countrymen - much less non-Americans - so I will just have to disagree that Obama is comporting himself better than Bush did.

    I remain far more fearful of losing my essential rights as a US citizen than I am of the "terrorists" that are given as the reason why I not only have to have less and less freedom, but have less and less ability to do anything about it.


    Couldn't say it any better (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by republicratitarian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 01:47:04 PM EST
    I remain far more fearful of losing my essential rights as a US citizen than I am of the "terrorists" that are given as the reason why I not only have to have less and less freedom, but have less and less ability to do anything about it.

    I think Obama has moved forward (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:53:27 PM EST
    on legally removing civil rights we all used to enjoy.  Is it better that laws are created that do it, or that it is done in murky lawlessness? I don't know Anne.  I do remember not being able to debate anything that BushCo did though because there was a perpetual undefined gray area they operated within and did the very worst of what they did do.

    I think separate and apart from the (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 01:57:39 PM EST
    actions and policies themselves, which are clearly damaging, the additional damage that Obama has wreaked can be summed up quite nicely by Glenn's post:

    First, it creates the impression that Republicans were right all along in the Bush-era War on Terror debates and Democratic critics were wrong.  The same theme is constantly sounded by conservatives who point out Obama's continuation of these policies:  that he criticized those policies as a candidate out of ignorance and partisan advantage, but once he became President, he realized they were right as a result of accessing the relevant classified information and needing to keep the country safe from the Terrorist threat.


    Second, Obama has single-handedly eliminated virtually all mainstream debate over these War on Terror policies.  At least during the Bush years, we had one party which steadfastly supported them but one party which claimed (albeit not very persuasively) to vehemently oppose them.  At least there was a pretense of vigorous debate over their legality, morality, efficacy, and compatibility with our national values.

    Those debates are no more.  Even the hardest-core right-wing polemicists -- Gen. Hayden, the Heritage Foundation, Dick Cheney -- now praise Obama's actions in these areas.  Opposition from national Democrats has faded away to almost complete nonexistence now that it's a Democratic President doing these things.   What was once viewed as the signature of Bush/Cheney radicalism is now official, bipartisan Washington consensus: the policies equally of both parties and all Serious people.  Thanks to Barack Obama, this architecture is firmly embedded in place and invulnerable to meaningful political challenge.

    Third, Obama's embrace of these policies has completely rehabilitated the reputations and standing of the Bush officials responsible for them.  Yesterday, J. Gerald Herbert -- a long-time DOJ official -- told The Raw Story that Obama's refusal to investigate or prosecute Bush era crimes is both a violation of DOJ's duties and sets a "dangerous precedent" by vesting lawbreaking elites with immunity.  The active protection of torturers and other high-level lawbreakers both signals that they did nothing seriously wrong and, independently, ensures that such conduct will be repeated in the future.

    I truly do not know why you take any comfort in Obama doing things "legally," mainly because my feeling is that just because there's a law or an executive order or a policy or an opinion there for all to see, doesn't mean that the things being done are okay.  And I don't have the same kind of confidence I guess you have that the Obama administration is operating in the light and not still crawling around in the dark and ugly places where authoritarianism flourishes.


    I take no comfort in the rightness (3.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:07:52 PM EST
    of a law because any law is not right for all occassions.  What I do take comfort in is the attitude of being accountable and documented.  It gives us something to measure by, something to roll back, something to undo when it is proven to not work.  It gives victims something to debate as well or seek damages or reparations through.  What Bush did gave no voice to anyone, it created fear, silence, and deafness.  I do agree though that the debate about what Obama is doing is nonexistent.  The anti-war left is going to have to organize and get facts and ducks in a row and get their best debate on because they are the only check on anything that Obama can do.... and he can do just about anything.

    When Obama decided he would (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:43:00 PM EST
    hold no one from the Bush Administration accountable for their actions the previous eight years, he was telling you that he was not planning to be held accountable, either.  And I don't think there's much reason to hope that documentation is experiencing a rebirth in the Obama administration.

    And if you don't think Obama's treatment of whistleblowers, his assassination orders on US citizens, his use of the no-fly list to make detention of US citizens easier, his warrantless confiscation and searching of the laptops, cell phones, PDA's of Americans re-entering their own country, are not meant to inspire fear and silence, I may have a bridge to sell you.


    I don't think he is without blemish (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:52:29 PM EST
    Anne.  The problem is that liberals don't take him to task for what he is doing.  What I do know though is that things done within the military are documented now, we don't have ghost detainees and things like that, and we used to.

    Obama would care about what he does violate if anyone made a big stink, but nobody does.


    Replying to both of your responses (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 03:45:25 PM EST
    to me -

    Knowing of your military background, and knowing that you are possibly privy to more inside information than most of the rest of us, please understand that I do have a great deal of respect for your opinions on this stuff, however, when it starts to come down to "it's the liberals' fault," that's where I have to call BS.  And it's even harder to take your comments seriously when you declare that Obama would be madly screaming "how high?" if only we would get off our asses and order him to start jumping.  He didn't pay any attention to the single-payer advocates, doesn't have the time of day for the civil liberties activists, he has ignored, demeaned and marginalized the liberals on issue after issue, and yet, you think he's going to listen to us and do our bidding if we just make more noise?  Is that what you think he's waiting for - proof that we want it bad enough?  

    It saddens me to have to say that this type of argument is unpleasantly reminiscent of your earlier blame-it-on-the-selfish-boomers brouhaha of a couple weeks ago.

    We're all frustrated about how and where things are going, but blaming it on liberals and selfish boomers is not just the easiest "out" there is, but I'm pretty sure Obama agrees with you.


    Well sadly the Right isn't going to (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:01:09 PM EST
    come out fighting Obama on any power grabs of this nature in a meaningful way, Libertarians will complain but don't have an organized party or funding...that is why I point to the left and say that is where the friction and the outrage has to come from.  The Rightwing will only attempt to validated the horror that they did by hiding behind anything remotely similar that Obama is doing.  But I don't experience anything that Obama has done to equal the violation of human rights or civil rights that the Bush administration thought was theirs to violate.  He should never given them a pass, but I can't do anything about that now, that is water under the bridge.

    You have to remember too Anne (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:55:31 PM EST
    That my husband was at Al Asad and I just attended a welcoming for a commander and his wife a few months before an Iraqi General was tortured to death by military intelligence on Al Asad, and that same commander told the press that what happened under his command was okay.  I have seen times and experienced times that were much much worse than this.

    He is still saying we need to fight the (none / 0) (#43)
    by observed on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:02:22 PM EST
    terrorists "over there" so we don't have to face them at home.
    Do you know how many Al Qaeda are in Afghanistan now? Only a few dozen. Admittedly, that's more than were in Iraq in 2003, but still...!
    The war in Afghanistan promises to be just as much a disastrous waste of money as the Iraq war.
    Look, I give Obama credit for not being Hitler (Bush) and starting a war of aggression which has displaced millions, killed hundreds of thousands (probably over a million) and cost hundreds of billions.... he didn't start it, but he sure as heck isn't getting us out of the Bush quagmire.

    YOU have no idea how many (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:08:25 PM EST
    Al Qaeda there are in Afghanistan or Pakistan (along with the nukes) or even where they are in either country at this time.  Most of that information is highly classified if and when we possess it.  I don't mean to be rude, but I do know a few things per coffee table discussion of what some people have faced and dealt with and survived, and the Left's portrayal of the existing Al Qaeda networks and their capabilities is nothing but gross misinformation at this point.  The threat is real, very very real and very very capable.

    Actually that's an official US number (none / 0) (#51)
    by observed on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:42:03 PM EST
    I don't mean to be rude, but it's well known that the military leadership cannot be trusted as to facts.
    If you have an official number as to the number of Al Qaeda which is higher than 200 (The number I saw was around 160), let me know.
    Let's just agree that if I don't know the exact number, neither do you. Furthermore, slaughtering civilian Afghanis by the dozen, week after week, is  only helping Al Qaeda.

    From what I've read (none / 0) (#78)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 08:37:56 PM EST
    Al Queda numbers are very low in Afghanistan but very high in Pakistan.  Is this your understanding as well -- if you can say?

    Thousands of dead Afghanis, some (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:13:42 AM EST
    killed in drone attacks at wedding and other family gatherings, others killed when US troops destroyed entire villages (to keep them from the Taliban), were not available for comment.

    I'd be interested in knowing about population movements in both Iraq and Afghanistan since Obama took office.
    In the early Bush years, I read that large numbers of ex-pats were moving back to Afghanistans, some after decades away.
    Conversely, the exodus from Iraq was in the millions. Hard to imagine that people want to stay in Afghanistan now. As to Iraq: are people returning?

    Let's just say that Obama's foreign policy is as destructive as Bush's when it comes to brown people, although he gets credit for not being the Nazi and actually starting the war of aggression.

    I am sure you have (none / 0) (#6)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:20:02 AM EST
    a list of villages destroyed by US troops.  Were they grunts?  What units?

    Look, junior (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:33:15 AM EST
    Why don't you do your own homework, the information is out there. Here, I'll give you a story from my brother, who's served four tours.  He was traveling through Afghanistan with only two other soldiers for security, and he was working with villagers, trying to gain their trust, get them to work together.  He was in a particular village for months, and he'd developed great relationships, the elders respected him, and he was making things better for them.  Then, one day, lo and behold, here comes the U.S. army over the hill (my brother is a Marine), and the C.O. of this army unity (superior in rank to my bro) tells him to torch the entire village. My brother says no phucking way, he fights this for a week, goes to higher ups and WINS, the village is saved.  But then, a few weeks later, my bro is transferred out, and then what happens?  The army comes in an destorys the entire village.  

    Along with millions of innocents aborad, this war has already taken large chunks of mental health from my family, so you can take your little tit for tat, where are my statistics, name the villages, you're safe on the other side of the world BULLSH*T and eat it with your hands.

    Peanuts included.


    and no I don't have the village's name (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:35:43 AM EST
    my brother wouldn't tell me. but i'm sure, uh, it was just an isolated incident.

    What unit was (none / 0) (#21)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:48:48 AM EST
    your brother in when it happened?

    These are in official reports (none / 0) (#9)
    by observed on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:30:30 AM EST
    by US troops. I think I read it in Greenwald.. not sure.
    It's part of the Petraeus strategy.

    Not part of the Petraeus strategy at all (2.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:00:43 AM EST
    Not one bit.....could actually be a part of a Holbrooke strategy though if he thought it was going to be truly useful.  But Holbrooke will be a hero on the left forever and ever and the military and every General no matter who, what, or where will always be demonized without any real facts or information being used.

    Come on, you accuse the US of destroying entire (none / 0) (#20)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:46:31 AM EST
    villages without providing any links or proof.  Was it Army, Marines?  What years, try to narrow it down.  Link to the official reports.  Link to the Greenwald column.  And many "progressives" here just sit back on their haunches and nod their heads and say yup, it feels good to nod my head.  Link to the part of the strategy that says destroy villages.  

    As if there's anything outrageous in my (none / 0) (#22)
    by observed on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:48:48 AM EST
    accusation. It's been SOP for more than 100 years.
    Learn some history dude. If you told me the US was NOT destroying villages, THERE would be some news!

    How about any links or (none / 0) (#23)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:51:51 AM EST
    anything?  List one village.  List any units.

    Here's one, there are others. Do some research. (none / 0) (#31)
    by Mitch Guthman on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:14:55 AM EST
    No civilian casualties (2.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:02:52 PM EST
    And now we are rebuilding for the civilians.  This isn't exactly the slaughter of the innocent that was accused above.  Did the military destroy a Taliban stronghold though?  Yes

    Yes, just like they have destroyed many (none / 0) (#52)
    by observed on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:43:10 PM EST
    Taliban "weddings", too!

    Lazy much? (none / 0) (#48)
    by bayville on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:24:00 PM EST
    well, for one, DronesDroneDrones (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:14:52 AM EST
    Our murdering of countless innocent people continues by remote control and various other ways, this is nothing but Bush.  If the window dressing is slightly different, then what is the difference. I await your explanation.

    Also, the Prez who says he's itching for a fight at home on taxes (IN TWO YEARS), laugh laugh, has to come off as strong somewhere else. IMO, this is why his similarities to Bush in war policy (let's be honest here and say what it is) are still as wretched and immoral and, thanks to WikiLeaks, we KNOW they are a massive failure that is making the U.S. infinitely less safe.  

    He'll be different than Bush when he ENDS these wars completely, and we know he won't do that.

    he doesnt (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:17:13 AM EST
    seem to "enjoy" it as much

    More wikileaks coming (none / 0) (#4)
    by CST on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:18:00 AM EST
    This time the info is from a rogue swiss banker.  Link

    "Julian Assange... pledged to make public the confidential tax details of 2,000 wealthy and prominent individuals, after being passed the data by a Swiss banker who claims the information potentially reveals instances of money-laundering and large-scale illegal tax evasion."

    ""As banker, I have the right to stand up if something is wrong," he said. "I am against the system. I know how the system works and I know the day-to-day business. I wanted to let society know how this system works because it's damaging society," he said.

    Elmer will appear in a Swiss court on Wednesday charged with breaking Swiss banking secrecy laws, forging documents and sending threatening messages to two officials at his former employer.

    He denies the charges."

    This bothers me a whole lot less than the diplomatic cable release.  IMO civil disobedience is okay if it's worth it, but you gotta be willing to pay the price, and there's always a price.

    Pass the popcorn... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:34:09 AM EST
    but the sh*t I really wanna see is the bankster files...but this should be fun too.

    Although you don't have a bank account, (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:11:47 AM EST
    imaging if you did.  Would you be happy to see it leaked?  I wouldn't.  Not sure this leak will be be as popular as the leaking of those gossipy state dept. cables.

    No criminal is happy to see his crime exposed. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Mitch Guthman on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:26:50 AM EST
    As I understand it, these are Swiss accounts which are being used by their owners to illegally evade taxes in their home countries.  So, as a practical matter, we are talking about the fact that these Swiss banks have what is essentially evidence of series crimes being committed in the account holders' home countries.  The fact that it might be an imposition on the privacy of these criminals is neither here nor there.  The exposure of these bank accounts is no more a question of privacy than when the narcs kick down the door of a crack house.

    Furthermore, the very purpose of Swiss bank secrecy is almost exclusively the facilitation of criminal activity.    A serious and continuing light needs to be shone on the activities of the Swiss banking system and also that of other havens for money laundering and tax evasion.


    Little sympathy.. (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:40:55 AM EST
    for those that lie down with bankster dogs and come up with fleas....everybody should know who they are dealing with by now. Me thinks the rich tax dodgers got accustomed to their different rules different fools exemption to tax law via tax havens...a whistleblower blew up the spot.  



    Child Labor Laws Unconstitutional (none / 0) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:20:00 AM EST
    going to be an interesting session.

    Last week, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) posted a lecture on his YouTube channel where he explains in great detail his views on the Constitution. As part of the lecture, which is essentially a lengthy defense of his radical tenther interpretation of the Constitution, Lee claims that federal child labor laws are unconstitutional:

    gotta love it (none / 0) (#7)
    by CST on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:25:56 AM EST
    when the crazy comes out of the closet.

    Let's see more of this please.  Let your truuuuue colors shine through....


    That's why I love you, GOP (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:28:05 AM EST
    Tell me more.....speak to me of the crazy

    Unfortunately, crazy has a habit of becoming (none / 0) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:34:45 AM EST
    accepted policy in this country. We all know that the tea party is as American as apple pie.

    I have not heard (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:35:41 AM EST
    child labor laws disputed before this.  as far as I know.

    I would be willing to bet that you (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:43:05 AM EST
    could come up with at least one "crazy Republican" idea that has now become accepted policy.

    See "Lochner" era re SCOTUS (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:20:38 PM EST
    deciding child labor laws were unconstitutional: Substantive due process

    The courts have largely abandoned the Lochner era approach (ca. 1897-1937) when substantive due process was used to strike down minimum wage and labor laws in order to protect freedom of contract.

    Now the Florida Tea Party (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:44:33 AM EST
    is getting involved in text books, protesting what they term 'positive references to Muslims'. The article I read this morning did not give any examples - just said that they had sent letters to school districts listing 200 such references and suggesting teachers correct the record when teaching the classes.

    Anyone still think the Tea Party is something other than the normal Republican right wing we have always known?


    Tea Party just good folks following an (none / 0) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:00:53 AM EST
    American tradition.

    KROFT: No one at the news conference yesterday asked you about the Tea Party. According to the exit polls, four out of ten voters on Tuesday said they supported the movement. How seriously do you take the Tea Party, and will it make the task of finding common ground with the Republican Party more difficult?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it'll be interesting to see how it evolves. We have a long tradition in this country of a desire for limited government, the suspicion of the federal government, of a concern that government spends too much money. You know? I mean, that's as American as apple pie. And although, you know, there's a new label to this, I mean those sentiments are ones that a lot of people support and give voice to. Including a lot of Democrats. link

    You just want to shake him sometimes (none / 0) (#34)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:23:51 AM EST
    Please read this post by Glen Greenwald (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:39:14 AM EST
    re a U.S. citizen, a teenager, detained The U.S. role in Gulet Mohamed's detention

    While he is being detained in Yemen, and allegedly tortured, U.S. puts him on no-fly list.  

    In addition, Guantanamo remains open, our privacy remains at risk, and the wars continue.

    I may be mistaken, but I believe he (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:26:52 PM EST
    was put on the no-fly list, and then detained in Kuwait when he tried to fly back to the US.

    Per Glenn:

    Gulet Mohamed -- the Somali-born American citizen who just turned 19 and who described how he spent a week being interrogated, beaten and tortured by unknown captors -- remains in custody in Kuwait despite not being charged with any crimes or wrongdoing of any kind.  As his lawyer said in an interview with me on Tuesday, it is the Americans, not the Kuwaitis, who are responsible for his ongoing detention by virtue of placing him on the U.S.'s no-fly list -- likely, they believe, in order to enable his ongoing interrogations by the FBI without a lawyer or other legal protections to which he'd be entitled if he returned to the U.S.

    I've been following this pretty much in horror, and have no idea why anyone would think Obama is better than Bush.


    Viscerally repellent (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:53:35 AM EST
    This abuse of the no-fly list is a common tactic used by the U.S. Government to circumvent all legal and constitutional constraints when it comes to its own citizens; this case just happens to be extra viscerally repellent.

    The fact that I am viscerally repelled at the actions of the government on a regular basis tells me things have not changed nearly enough.

    honestly I have not been able to read Greenwald as much as I should because I couldn't live with the constant state of anger for a while there. I guess I etter get used to it again.


    Ya know things are bad... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 10:42:51 AM EST
    when setting yourself on fire in protest starts catching on...the desperation one must feel to do something like that, I don't even wanna imagine.

    The commom theme seems to be the state making it more difficult than it need be to make a living...like seizing a food cart because ya don't have a stupid permit.  As well as the all too common high unemployment and soaring food prices.

    "Dem belly full but we hungry, a hungry mob is an angry mob..."  

    Kent Conrad to retire (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:00:52 AM EST
    North Dakota Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad announced today that he will not seek reelection, creating a potentially prime pickup opportunity for Republicans in a GOP-leaning state.

    Well he still has enough time (none / 0) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:06:08 AM EST
    to vote in favor of the Cat Food Commissions recommendations if they come up for a vote. Would provide him with the proper credentials for a lucrative post Senate career.

    It was probably a prime GOP pickup opportunity (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:18:23 AM EST

    Here is some out of the box thinking....I wonder if Ed Shultz will run?


    Earlier, the AFL-CIO threatened (none / 0) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:38:20 AM EST
    to fund a primary challenge to Senator Conrad. Wonder if he will retire to Bismarck.

    Rumors abound that Holy Joe (none / 0) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:08:38 PM EST
    will also announce his retirement. If true, it would definitely make my day.

    Lieberman, who lost a 2006 primary to netroots insurgent Ned Lamont, will announce on Wednesday whether he will run as an independent, a Democrat or a Republican. Those close to him are unusually tight-lipped about his plans, leading to speculation among Connecticut operatives that he had seen the same polling data they had and would be dropping out.

    "Senator Lieberman made a decision about his future over the holidays which he plans to announce on Wednesday," a Lieberman spokesman said. In 2006, Lieberman ran under a party he created called Connecticut for Lieberman. Anti-Lieberman activists, however, have since taken it over.

    The last report I saw indicated that Lieberman had the worse job approval of any Senators who caucuses with the Democratic Party. Evidently the party might be willing to reward Joe for his contribution to the health insurance bill.    

    As Lieberman deliberated on Tuesday, the new chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), told HuffPost that the party would consider supporting Lieberman if he returned to the fold.


    It's only good (none / 0) (#75)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 05:09:32 PM EST
    if a Dem wins the Senate seat. If Linda McMahon wins, I'd rather have Joe.

    Joe running for another term would (none / 0) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 06:00:02 PM EST
    more than likely result in Linda McMahon winning.

    He is not popular in CT. and if he decides not to run again, his decision would be poll based.

    This past October, a survey from Public Policy Polling (D) found Lieberman running in third place in various trial heats with hypothetical Democratic and Republican candidates, with only marginally positive ratings from Republican voters and deeply negative ratings with Democrats and independents. link

    Terror BTD probably is referring to... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Yes2Truth on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:20:23 AM EST

    is USG-manufactured or sponsored.There's no reason for O to do anything about it except to continue it.

    With the insanely huge corporate welfare aka Homeland Security apparatus and spikes in budgets for the military/intelligence complex, I can't imagine why O would risk rocking any of those ships.

    Terror: Bush v Obama (none / 0) (#53)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:51:38 PM EST
    Agreed. Instead of reacting to 9-11 with a criminal investigation, Bush took the opportunity to create DHS and expand the military industrial complex during that "panic window."  He exploited 9-11 to entrench the corrupt military apparatus assigned to the phony war on terror.  Is it realistic to expect Obama to have shut down DHS, dissolved the CIA, ordered the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and released all the Gitmo prisoners?  I think not. He operates in a political environment, and foreign policy requires consistency, even a loathsome consistency.
    Under the circumstances, I think he has done a half-assed job of bringing sanity to our terrorism policy, but he has done better than Bush. I can't imagine a John Yoo being asked to legally justify torture for O. I can't imagine Biden bragging about ordering the waterboarding of a criminal suspect.
    Please remember, Barack Obama is not and has never been a liberal or a progressive. He is a centrist democrat who wants to get re-elected in a country still only 20% liberal.

    i really hate this guy (none / 0) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:45:33 AM EST
    Palin Holds High Ground Over Harsh and Unfair Critics
    By Ed Koch

    You are not adopting the (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:23:16 PM EST
    "civil discourse" meme!

    and O on the WSJ opinion page (none / 0) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:47:49 AM EST
    Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System
    If the FDA deems saccharin safe enough for coffee, then the EPA should not treat it as hazardous waste.

    Well I don't put it in my coffee and I don't (none / 0) (#55)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 01:08:13 PM EST
    want it in my water table either. It is a chemical, is it not?

    I'm all for getting rid of regulations that no longer make sense but that does not appear to me to be one of them.


    Is Obama like Bush (none / 0) (#59)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:12:30 PM EST
    on terror policy?

    I would imagine that the detainees in Gitmo who have no hope of charge or trial might think that Obama's policies have a familiar ring.

    I would imagine that those "suspects" who have been "rendered" might think so as well.

    And those lovely drones.
    He even did Bush one better.

    Forget about (none / 0) (#60)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:15:17 PM EST
    the wars.

    Forget about the unemployed.
    Forget about our trampled civil rights and our poor old shredded constitution.
    Forget about assault weapons.

    The NYTImes just broke a story and put it on their front page:

    "Chihuahua Survives Owl Attack in Suburban Chicago".

    Now that's news we can use.

    Seymour Hersh (none / 0) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:18:07 PM EST
    In a speech billed as a discussion of the Bush and Obama eras, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh delivered a rambling, conspiracy-laden diatribe here Monday expressing his disappointment with President Barack Obama and his dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

    "Just when we needed an angry black man," he began, his arm perched jauntily on the podium, "we didn't get one."

    It quickly went downhill from there.

    Hersh, whose exposés of gross abuses by members of the U.S. military in Vietnam and Iraq have earned him worldwide fame and high journalistic honors, said he was writing a book on what he called the "Cheney-Bush years" and saw little difference between that period and the Obama administration.

    Wow, I know some people (2.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:46:32 PM EST
    who work around JSOC and if they are members of the Knights of Malta or Opus Dei they are certainly keeping it a secret.  And now General McRaven and General McChrystal are members of the Knights of Malta...whew....I think Sy might be actually cracking up.

    "A rambling, conspiracy-laden (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:46:44 PM EST

    I just (none / 0) (#67)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 03:00:44 PM EST
    cut and paste

    Our last deployment (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:07:18 PM EST
    was under McRaven.  I keep forgetting that he is an Admiral and not a General cuz the way that everything is jumbled up now you have Army serving under Admirals and I'm only used to Generals. I think he signed off on my spouses award too.  I phoned my spouse and told him I didn't appreciate him joining the Knights of Malta and not telling me, and he started laughing and said that he didn't know what the hell that was or what I was talking about.  But Sy Hersh said all this stuff in Qatar, it's pretty freaky damn it.  What the heck is going on around there :)?

    Leave it to FP Magazine (none / 0) (#79)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 08:56:32 PM EST
     to demonize Hersh by portraying him as wacko.

    very funny conversation (none / 0) (#68)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 03:12:05 PM EST
    between LBJ and a leader of the Haggar clothing company for some custom-made pants, providing specific (and sometimes graphic) instructions on how they should be customized for him.

    nsfw  as they say.

    brotherly love (none / 0) (#70)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 03:53:09 PM EST
    MONTGOMERY -- Gov.-elect Robert Bentley in a speech at a Baptist church this afternoon said he plans to be the governor of all Alabamians and be color-blind, but he also said people who aren't ''saved" Christians aren't his brothers and sisters.

    thank god.  I have enough crazy relatives.

    CNN/Opinion Research Healthcare Law Repeal Poll (none / 0) (#74)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:17:42 PM EST

    Interesting - 74% of Democrats favor most or all of the proposals.

    This Poll and way questions phrased (none / 0) (#80)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 09:03:52 PM EST
    is designed to illicit certain result. What a joke!
    The polls asks if you agree with most elements of the health care legislation, some, etc.

    If the poll actually asked substantive questions, such as:

    Do you agree that Americans should be required to purchase health insurance?


    Do you agree that there should be no caps on what an insurance company can charge for health insurance?  and on, and on....

    The only purpose this poll serves is to provide an indication of whether the American public may support full or partial repeal of the legislation, in the absence of informed debate, but not what Americans want health care legislation to accomplish.  

    I dare say that most "educated" among the electorate could only guess as to what all the provisions of the health care legislation were, and then guess at whether they agree or disagree with any particular proportion of elements.


    Please excuse many typos (none / 0) (#81)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 09:04:52 PM EST
    This is how it begins (none / 0) (#77)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 07:10:41 PM EST
    not with a bang, but with a giggle, from The Raw Story:

    In Jordan earlier this week, Twitterers showed a surprising amount of nerve when they openly criticized Queen Rania over her Tweet that she was "watching developments in Tunisia and praying for stability and calm for its people."

    Responses included "lol Jordan is next!" and "start palace hunting in Jedda [Saudi Arabia, where Tunisia's ruler Zine Abidine Ben Ali fled]." The LA Times described the Tweets as "ominous."

    Click or Deploy Me

    Stop Bigotry (none / 0) (#82)
    by ohiodave on Tue Mar 01, 2011 at 12:45:09 PM EST
    Most Americans believe in the principles, values, and ethics of our great nation.  Without question, one of those principles is that bigotry and discrimination are wrong.

    Yet, far-too-many misinformed and uneducated Americans who cannot see past their own ignorance, think all Arabs and Muslims are enemies and terrorists.  

    Anti-Muslim bigots seek to whip up hatred against Arabs in the midst of our current economic crisis.  They need scapegoats to blame.  They want to divert anger away from the banks and corporations, the real culprits, who have robbed millions of their jobs and homes.  

    These ugly, right-wing campaigns are given coverage by media outlets that have allowed bigotry to seep into mainstream discourse.  For example, it was widely reported that Attorney General Eric Holder said he stays “awake at night” because so many young Muslim-American men are becoming so radicalized that they are taking up arms against our country.

    What the media failed to mention is: The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported only 21 militant Muslims were convicted on or pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges in 2010.  During the same time, over 100,000 Americans died or were injured by firearms, and over a million domestic violence cases were reported.  These and other important stories seemingly go unnoticed in the media.  Millions of Muslims practice their faith in peace while Islamic extremists get disproportional attention.

    It is time for this to stop.  Civil Rights are non-negotiable.  Equality, liberty, and justice are not just words; they are the foundation and fabric of our society.