Hugo Chavez Passes Away


President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela died Tuesday afternoon after a long battle with cancer, the government announced, leaving behind a bitterly divided nation in the grip of a political crisis that grew more acute as he languished for weeks, silent and out of sight in hospitals in Havana and Caracas.

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    I'm sure Ezra can make some economic (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:27:21 PM EST
    good out of it.  He's making silk purses out of anything tonight.

    "Infected" by cancer (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:52:07 PM EST
    Maduro, the VP, was the one who said that anti-imperialists had "infected" Chavez with cancer. Btw, most people with any knowledge of his illness thought it was rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the striated muscles. It's a close cousin to my leiomyosarcoma, a cancer of the smooth muscles.

    Chavez was a selfish coward for not naming his cancer, which would have brought much-needed awareness to sarcoma. I think the NYT is the only major media outlet that has gotten facts correct on sarcoma, while reporting on Chavez. Neither Venezuela nor Cuba has experts in sarcoma. They also lack the clinical trials offered in the U.S. and Europe.

    I'm in a mood -- I got out of the hospital Saturday after an emergency surgery that has left me with a colostomy to match my urostomy.

    Wow, Suzie (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:09:58 PM EST
    What a trauma to your body and psyche. Another big change to deal with in your life. Hopefully, this will be the last of the emergency surgeries. Best vibes for healing.

    I hope... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by desertswine on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:08:45 PM EST
    you have a speedy and uneventful recovery.

    A HS buddy of mine had sarcoma (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:49:27 AM EST
    in his leg a few years ago. He seems to have beaten it, thankfully.

    I wish you the best of luck. From your posts you seem to be the type who can beat it too.


    Bad or good, (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:34:31 AM EST
    (I believe he was bad), he did Venezuela no favors by cultivating a cult of personality so strong he left no room for grooming a successor.  

    Interesting to see so many (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:15:16 AM EST
    negative-tinged comments here, on this supposed lefty-legal blog, about the passing of HC, a leader well-liked by the majority of his country who did so much to greatly reduce poverty in that formerly poverty-wracked part of the world.

    He also seemed to preside over a fair election process, time and again, as he sought the vote of the people.

    I've also seen positive news about improved literacy and medical care for the masses down there during his presidency.

    Far from perfect -- as with his warm public embrace of authoritarian Iranian pres Ahmadenijad -- he nevertheless strikes me as far more of a force for good in that country (agreeing here with Jimmy Carter) that for so long had been treated by the US as one of its unofficial colonies.

    Interesting too that on a site where speaking ill of the recently departed is not allowed, we see so many disparaging remarks.  Have the rules changed here recently?  Very confusing ...

    I'm With You... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:25:55 AM EST
    ...when it comes to Chavez, just about all the media comes off like a right wing blog, loads of accusations but real slim with facts.

    I have no opinion more than a guy who hated Bush and gave him more than a headache or two, can't be all that bad.  Plus of course, we was fairly elected 3 times, so at more than 50% of the people he actually lead, liked him enough to keep him in office.

    I doubt there is anything someone could say about Chavez that couldn't be said about Bush or Obama.


    Venezuela is in for a very tumultuous (4.75 / 4) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:43:26 PM EST
    time. Two Americans have been expelled for allegedly trying to persuade members of the military to stir up trouble.

    Venezuelan officials gave U.S. Col. David Delmonico and a second unidentified Air Force member with the embassy 24 hours to leave the country. The officials said the two had approached members of the Venezuelan military and tried to recruit them into plans to "destabilize" the oil-rich South American nation. Mr. Maduro didn't offer further details on the alleged plot.

    I expect this is just the opening salvo. The U.S. government has made to secret of its distaste for Chavez and all he stood for. American corporations must be salivating at the chance to get a free rein in Venezuela, especially the oil companies.

    The hostile rhetoric directed toward ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:05:37 PM EST
    ... Hugo Chávez was greatly toned down after the Bush administration left office. While the Obama administration has criticized the Chávez regime on issues of democracy and civil rights, there's really been none of the clandestine-type intrigue that marked the prior administration's posture toward the Venezuelan president.

    As I stated earlier, the Bush administration most certainly was involved at least peripherally in the abortive 2002 coup attempt against President Chávez, which probably served to poison our relations with him. Now that Chávez has passed on, perhaps we can turn a new page and move to improve our standing in the region.



    I have no illusions (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:17:49 PM EST
    as to the Obama administration's opinions and desires where Chavez was concerned. They felt the same towards Chavez as the Bush administration. It's sheer folly to think otherwise.

    I'm not one of the Chavez acolytes. Like many charismatic populists, he started out doing some good lifting the poorest up, and over time he bacame an autocrat and a despot whose goal was to control everything.

    Beyond that, I won't say any further, so as not to rain the pity parade.


    Well for a supposed "autocrat and (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:23:56 AM EST
    despot" he seemed to run some pretty fair elections down there, at least according to observers like Jimmy Carter.  Probably better-run and fairer elections than what we have here in the US -- probably far better in fact.

    Don't most autocrats and despots who supposedly "control everything" also take care to control the election process?  Not to mention the media -- which however is not all state-controlled in Venezuela, and by no means all laudatory of Chavez.

    And for an alleged autocrat and despot he seemed to do well for the poor of his country, reducing by half (or more) the poverty numbers, according to reports I've seen.


    But Chavez also leaves a legacy of repression against politicians and private media who opposed him.

    He concentrated power in the executive branch, turning formerly independent institutions -- such as the judiciary, the electoral authorities and the military -- into partisan loyalists.

    Through decrees and a judiciary tilted in the president's favor, many political opponents found themselves barred from running in elections against the ruling party. Even former allies, like Chavez's onetime defense minister, Gen. Raul Baduel, faced accusations that critics called trumped-up corruption charges.

    Chavez's government similarly targeted opposition broadcasters, passing laws and decrees that forced at least one major broadcaster and dozens of smaller radio and television stations off the air.

    Quote With No Link ? (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:11:33 AM EST
    Found it at CNN.

    No offense, nearly all of that and worse could be said about Bush or Obama, and lot of would be accurate.  Surely he never started an unprovoked war or used drones to kill people in far off lands.

    There is a lot of opinions today without much fact, which seems to be common when Chavez is mentioned.  I am not sticking up for the guy, but unless someone starts giving some examples why this man was so bad, I am just to chalk it up to a world leader that wouldn't cowtow to American policies.  He hated Bush, which is a club whose membership is about 80% of the world's citizens.


    brodie made specific claims. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:24:16 AM EST
    Those claims are hogwash, as another poster said.

    But the Claim About the Media... (none / 0) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:49:40 AM EST
    ...isn't something Chavez pioneered nor it is something probably most governments engage in to some degree, including our own.

    Not giving a pass, no government should filter the peoples right to know, but that does not an evil doer make.  

    You put up a pretty damning quote so I assume you concur, why ?  If he's bad, then good riddance, but I am just not finding anything to support the level of distaste for the guy in the media.


    I think it's reasonable to acknowledge (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 12:10:26 PM EST
    the totality of his actions.

    The "media response" is a completely different topic from anything I've commented on. I really don't have much of an opinion on it.


    It's Certainly Reasonable (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 01:19:58 PM EST
    ...but what are the bad deeds that make-up your totality ?

    Here we just repress the poor (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 12:13:15 PM EST
    and working class by believing and legislating that money equals constitutionally guaranteed speech.

    Hogwash. Like all despots, (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:59:26 AM EST
    he certainly DID wrest control of the media.


    Anyone paying attention the last few years knows that.


    Horrible (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:29:30 AM EST
    Here the media is so linked into the political wing, that Obama can ask them to keep the drone program a secret and they wholeheartedly oblige.

    You can argue which is worse, but the end result is the same, we are filtered from knowing what our government is up to.


    But we have more options (none / 0) (#51)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 01:40:19 PM EST
    than just mainstream media here. We have lots of independent news sites. Please name one news site or news channel that has been either taken over by the Obama administration, or shut down for expressing dissent to the Obama administration. And no, wikileaks is not the example I'm looking for.

    Right, the One Obvious Example... (4.00 / 3) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 03:00:35 PM EST
    ...is the one I can't use.  The one in which an Australian in Europe distributes documents given to him is granted political asylum because there is a good chance he will be extradited and tried in America for espionage and could possibly be put to death.  Seems like exactly what you asked for, not sure why you think it's off limits.

    We are in a capitalist society, so no need to take it over, the ruling class already owns it.  But if I had to give a good example it would be Fox News, plenty of evidence has shown they are tied tight to the Republican party.  tight enough that it's common knowledge, especially during the Bush years, their coverage is anything but accurate.

    But for Obama, if they don't walk the line, their access will be taken away, and for the media, that access is their bread and butter.  It was proven when we realized they kept the drone program a secret as a favor.  So while the methods may very, the end result is the same.

    But back to my original point, I will concede Chavez is guilty of this, why does that make his South America's Ahmadinejad ?


    Wikileaks is an underground outfit (none / 0) (#57)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:56:17 PM EST
    run by mostly anonymous people. So there is nothing about that situation that parallels other independent, privately held news organizations. Nothing. But I provided a link for you, from an entity you, apparently, know very little about. If you believe that the Committee to Protect Journalists is some right-wing, corporately run organization, then there is no point in even having a discussion about this.

    And, for the record, you are the one who compared Chavez to Ahmadinejad. I did not. I'm also not comparing Chavez to Bush or any American president. I'm talking about one person...Chavez. But you are playing a dishonest game by going on and on about how Chavez is no worse than this one or that one, which has nothing to do with the facts about Chavez. He was still an autocrat who sought total control over Venezuelan institutions, and sought to silence anyone who disagreed with him. That is a fact.


    You Missed My Point... (4.00 / 3) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:42:14 AM EST
    ...that Chavez doesn't seem to be anywhere near the boogie man you are others make him out to be.

    And who do you think you are, you get to define what I can and can't use as examples, complete with list of criteria you set that just so happens to filter great examples ?  Reminds me of the fools who claim Bush kept us safe from terrorists because 9/11 doesn't count.  

    I gave you an example of the US government strong arming a media outlet.  Calling it underground doesn't change those facts.

    OK, let's move on. you are right about the media, that still isn't accounting for the level of disdain almost every major media joint is showing for Chavez.  What else you got, because strong arming the media does not a dictator make.


    It wouldn't matter what links and facts I offer (none / 0) (#68)
    by shoephone on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 11:14:31 AM EST
    because you have already decided that your view is superior and that you will ignore whatever is offered as a counter argument. You are a total waste of my time.

    And here's another link (none / 0) (#60)
    by shoephone on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:34:44 PM EST
    from that other right-wing, corporate run organization, Human Rights Watch. The article, posted on the HRW website yesterday, details widespread abuses by the Chavez government.

    I don't know about recent charges -- (none / 0) (#61)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:36:25 PM EST
    note here my views on HC are largely positive, in the overall, per the remarks of Jimmy Carter -- but a recent 2008 HRW report on the situation in Venezuela under Chavez came under came under harsh criticism from a group of 100 experts in the area.  Charges of shoddy scholarship and political bias against HC.

    So HRW has a bit of a checkered track record in analyzing the Venezuelan situation.  Couldn't say whether their reporting has improved since then.


    Why is it that 99% of the time on TL (1.00 / 1) (#62)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:38:23 PM EST
    one person uses research to support their point of view, and those with opposing points of view find other research to "prove" the first person's research is invalid?

    Apparently, whatever point of view one may have, there is research out there somewhere to support it, and still other research to "prove" it's false.

    At this point we might as well just post our opinions and leave it at that, since most of the time none of the research that opposes our view points will be acceptable...


    Hmm, all I said above was that (none / 0) (#49)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 12:19:53 PM EST
    not all media in Venezuela was state run, which is true.  Most of the mass electronic media in fact is still in private hands, and major privately-owned opposition newspapers exist and publish regularly..

    But there would be some legit objections to some of the tightening of broadcast rules/laws by the state -- reflecting the mixed bag that was the Chavez regime, though mostly positive as noted.  Though some of those restrictions can be understood in the context of major foreign powers (hint hint) trying to undermine his govt by indirect means from afar as with the attempted coup in 2002.  A not irrational reaction, if probably some of the measures go too far.


    I spent a month or so in Venezuela (4.75 / 4) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:43:59 PM EST
    back in the late 80's. A beautiful country and fantastic people.

    Are you on drugs (4.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 02:50:41 PM EST

    Under that guy the people now suffer rampant inflation, rolling black outs, a quadrupling of murders, and shortages of basic foodstuffs.  All the while Hugo amassed a personal fortune of over a Billion dollars.  It is amazing the sins that a little meaningless leftist rhetoric will forgive in some quarters.


    Your Forte... (none / 0) (#54)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 03:03:48 PM EST
    ...no links, selective quoting, or links from extreme right wing blogs.

    Link (none / 0) (#58)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:14:43 PM EST
    It's ok to have ideals (none / 0) (#59)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:15:56 PM EST
    But some of the moral justification going own today about this guy today is frankly appalling.

    I think what you guys (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 02:55:01 PM EST
    find apalling is human beings attempting to base a society on more dignified, life-enhancing principals than people looking for an opening so they can prey on each other's weaknesses.

    I visited Venezuela pre Chavez (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:18:00 PM EST
    I hope she doesn't lose the gains made under Chavez where the poor are concerned.  Larry King said the most amazing despicable thing on CNN tonight, he laughed and said that maybe Obama had a cancer drone.  Does President Obama consider Chavez to have been the head of a terrorist organization?  That's news to me.

    Ezra is also on tonight and has lost his damned mind about where the economy is headed, where Europe in its austerity is headed now, and what the sequester is capable of doing to our economy.  Waiting with bated breath for your take on Ezra's observations.  Maybe bated breath isn't the right terminology....maybe it is anticipated aspiration.

    I have a feeling King's comment (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:31:57 PM EST
    was related to Chavez's comment that he (Chavez) and some other SA leaders who had cancer, were given it by the US.

    That belief of his was probably farfetched. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:48:36 PM EST
    Nevertheless, there is more than ample evidence that the Bush administration was at least peripherally involved in the abortive April 2002 military coup d'état against the democratically elected President Chávez and his regime:

    "Asked whether the administration now recognizes Mr. Chávez as Venezuela's legitimate president, one administration official replied, 'He was democratically elected,' then added, 'Legitimacy is something that is conferred not just by a majority of the voters, however.'" (Emphasis is mine.)

    Further, the CIA certainly knew what was going on, and Pedro Carmona, the coup's front man and president for less than 24 hours, met with Otto Reich, President Bush's senior advisor for Latin American affairs, in Washington on several occasions prior to the coup. Carmona is currently living in exile in Miami.

    I was never a fan of the authoritarian and bombastic Hugo Chávez, but I can empathize with his near-fate at the hands of the reckless Bushies. He had both reason and every right to be suspicious of America's intentions toward his administration after that unseemly episode, which no doubt poisoned U.S.-Venezuelan relations for the balance of his life.


    I was not aware that Chavez (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:25:57 PM EST
    had made such a comment, I hope that is where King's observation came from.  Makes me feel better for the time being, thank you for clarification.  Larry King has said a few things that made my hair a little curly, I used to listen to him in the early morning hours on the radio when I worked a night shift many years ago.  It was long before his television career, so I know he has been capable of saying some pretty wild things.

    OT, but speaking of hair curling comments (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:37:27 PM EST
    Holder did not say he drones people (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:43:21 PM EST
    on U.S. soil.  He said that in the case of catastrophic attack the military could defend the homeland on U.S. soil.  He also happened to mention that we had a working justice sytem.  I wonder why he saw fit to mention that? It isn't the same thing Dadler, at least not to me.

    I just don't believe him (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:59:31 PM EST
    If this is the public PR, the private reality is infinitely worse. Bad precedent to even suggest, much less comment on. Nothing good about drones on the whole. In small instances, sure, they can be great for certain things. On the whole, in the larger picture, disaster. It's all moot to me anyway, what the American people want doesn't mean sh*t. Bottom line. And why did he see fit to mention a working justice system, I don't know, I'd have to know who and what he thinks it's "working for" exactly.

    Sorry, I don't take my lead on (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:10:26 PM EST
    anything via Rand Paul, or his "Da" for that matter these days.  I just don't

    This has nothing to do with either Paul. (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:53:35 PM EST
    The Attorney General of the United States has put in writing his opinion that the President has the power to assassinate American citizens on American soil.

    That Holder pays lip service to our justice system and uses as examples of a when the President might choose such an assassination does nothing to mitigate the main point of his letter. That point being that the President, whomever that might be, can decide unilaterally  to assassinate American citizens here at home whenever the President decides we are under some kind of attack.

    Drones are irrelevant to this. I doubt the government would use drones here. It attracts too much attention. A quiet killing would suffice.

    That such a killing would be a clear violation of due process and deprive a citizen of Constitutional rights seems to make no difference to you, or to many others, sadly.


    The whole thing is rigged for Obama (2.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 02:37:22 AM EST
    From the git.  There is no letter answering Paul and the rightwingnuts that won't be exploited for what it says or doesn't say.  Obama will either not be firm enough to provide safety for the nation or he will be too something.  Sad to see lefties play into Paul's hands and wingnut hands so easily.  There was no answer that was going to be a win for the Obama administration and not answering is only just a different losing headline.

    Sad to see that it is more important (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:17:28 AM EST
    for you to view this issue in the light of whether or not it is a winning or losing issue for Obama than look at the current and future ramifications of this policy.

    Your comments of bad, bad Pauls, of poor, poor Obama and labels of lefties does not really address the issue of why you think Holder confirming that the military has the right to kill Americans here in the U.S. is a good thing.


    Really? (2.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:44:12 AM EST
    That has never been what is most important to me, ever.  I'm just not willing to be the Fox News fool in my quest to spit on Obama every step of the way every day and paint him hatefully.  He's my President, not my boyfriend.

    Maslow's hierarchy of needs is much more of a reality than all this skewing of Obama's every breath.  If I'm interested in anything at all these days pertaining to any of this, I am interested in Armando's upcoming writing about how to provide due process to the existing situation......and that's about it because Maslow's hierarchy of needs never gets to be ignored unless yer crazy.


    Really?? (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:55:28 AM EST
    Yes really. Once again you are using Fox News etc to distract from the issue and terms like "spiting on the president" as a discounting technique and have not said why you think the President claiming the authority to kill Americans here in the U.S. is a such a good thing.

    No I am not (3.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:35:35 AM EST
    No matter what Obama says about protecting the nation to any of the wingnutty probing, you will be on his a$$ or the door will be opened for the rightwing to go for him as he displays that he is an inadequate Commander in Chief.  Frankly you are both waiting in the wings salivating to attack, before people like Rand Paul even throw the frisbee.

    I do not recall you defending Bush when (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:23:23 PM EST
    he claimed that he did not need a warrant to spy on American citizens. I do not recall you stating that he was only defending the nation.

    I do not believe you are protecting the nation by establishing that the president is above the law. I did not believe it when Bush was president and I do not believe it now.

    I was one of those who thought that impeachment procedures should have been pursued against Bush when he broke the law by ignoring the Constitution requiring a warrant. I believed it was establishing a very dangerous precedent that the president was above the law . I though that there was a real risk that the next Republican president would not only continue those practices but expand those practices into very dangerous territory. Little did I realize then that we did not need to wait for the next Republican president to go well beyond even Bush's disregard for due process.

    Obama is using the same justification that Yoo developed for Bush. Why should I all of a sudden stay silent when Obama not only continues but exceeds Bush's practices.

    Oh and BTW, once again you have failed to tell us why you think the president claiming the authority to kill American citizens here in the U.S. is a good thing.


    I disagree with Holder going to Yoo (2.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 08:25:36 AM EST
    That had not happened yet though when I posted my comment, and you know that.  If you want to have discussions, great...if you must lower yourself to the next cheap shot though..well.  I have read Armando's recent diary at Orange and have been informed of the recent event where Holder is using Yoo's argument.  I do have a real life to live though so I'm waiting here at the keyboard for your every word.  And when have I defended Obama for illegal wire tapping?  When?  Never

    I think that your idea of discussing an issue (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 09:46:55 AM EST
    is much different than mine.

    In none of your previous comments regarding this subject did you once opine on why you thought Holder claiming the right to kill Americans in the U.S. was a good thing and something you felt the need to defend. I do not see where you once actually discussed the issue at hand until this comment.

    You chose to discuss Ron Paul, Fox news, the lefties and accuse people of being haters, Maslow's hierarchy and BTD rather than discussing the actual issue. You chose to personalize comments rather than actually discussing the issue.  This is the type of rhetoric that you chose to employ rather than discussing the actual issue.

    Frankly you are both waiting in the wings salivating to attack, before people like Rand Paul even throw the frisbee.

    So as far as employing cheap shots rather than discussing an issue I think you not I consistently revert to that technique.  

    Ordering the deaths of American citizens without due process is a little more extreme than deploying wire taps. Obama is using the same rational of defending the nation to continue not only the wire taps but to claim that he has the sole authority to kill citizens. Bush used defending the nation to justify his actions yet that did not prompt you to defend his actions. Yet you choose to justify Obama's actions using that rational and accuse others of not wanting to defend the nation if they disagree with Obama.


    kill Americans here in the US? (3.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Farmboy on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:30:17 AM EST
    Holder claimed no such blanket authority for the president. He postulated an attack on the nation such as Pearl Harbor where the president might "authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States." Not the same.

    Now, you could take the position that the military should not have used lethal force against the Pearl Harbor attackers. Your call.


    I am not sure where you went to school (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:01:20 PM EST
    but IIRC the planes that attacked Pearl Harbor were Japanese planes that were flown by Japanese pilots. IOW we were attacked by another country.

    The question was not whether the U.S. had the ability to protect themselves or to declare war on a foreign country that attacked us. Also lets look at what happened after the Pearl Harbor attack. The president requested that Congress declare war. Roosevelt did not claim that he and he alone as president had that authority.

    President Roosevelt formally requested the declaration in his Infamy Speech, addressed to a joint session of Congress and the nation at 12:30 pm on December 8.[6]

    The declaration was quickly brought to a vote; it passed the Senate, and then passed the House at 1:10 pm.[6] The vote was 82 to 0 in the Senate and 388 to 1 in the House of Representatives. Jeannette Rankin, a committed Pacifist and the first woman elected to Congress, was the only vote against the Declaration in either house.[6]

    The question that was posed to Obama which Holder answered was whether or not the president had the authority to order the killing of American citizens on American soil without due process. The two situations are not in any way the same.


    You're right about the question asked (4.00 / 3) (#70)
    by Farmboy on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 03:32:13 PM EST
    And Holder answered the question with no, except in extraordinary cases like an attack on the nation. He said no again today, spelling it out for Sen. Rand and others who don't know what no means.

    BTW, the knee jerk personal attacks and insults are why I've been lurking so much lately. IOW your response is hostile and marginalizing.


    Let's quote Armando (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 04:56:54 PM EST
    Unlike his letter (PDF) yesterday to Sen. Rand Paul, where Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in "extraordinary circumstances"--such as during an ongoing attack--the president can order the use of military force against persons in the United States, today Holder made the extraordinary, indefensible and John Yoo-like claim that the 2001 AUMF empowered the president to deploy the military on U.S. soil as a matter of routine. link

    The white paper that was "leaked" last month and Holder's previous comments at Northwestern University Law School in March 2012 that indicated that the administration believes that its current executive branch determination of quilt is all the "due process" needed for them to "sentence" an American citizen or any other person to death are contrary to the  "extraordinary circumstances" statements that you have cited.

    I found the last couple of sentences in your original comment discounting and marginalizing also. So IMO it is a situation of the pot calling the kettle black. If you choose to eliminate the strawmen in your comments to me, I will be happy to just respond with data.  


    Let's quote a few more people on Holder's (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:07:43 PM EST
    response regarding Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

    On December 7, 1941, Japanese war planes bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Six decades later, Al Qaeda terrorists flew hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Neither President Franklin Roosevelt nor President George W. Bush targeted and killed Americans on U.S. soil in the aftermath of those attacks. Doing so wouldn't have made any sense.

    How strange, then, that Attorney General Eric Holder invoked those very attacks in a letter confirming that President Obama believes there are circumstances in which he could order Americans targeted and killed on U.S. soil.....
    ....If he can see that a "for example" is necessary to explain, he ought to give us a clarifying example, rather than a nonsensical one that seems to name-check events for their emotional resonance more than for their aptness to the issue.
    Elsewhere in his letter, Holder writes that "the US government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so. As a policy matter moreover, we reject the use of military force where well-established law enforcement authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a terrorist threat." Interesting they reject it "as a policy matter," but aren't willing to reject military force in the United States as a legal matter, even in instances where law enforcement would better incapacitate the threat. For the Obama Administration, conceding that the executive branch is legally forbidden to do certain things is verboten, despite the fact that an unchecked executive is much more dangerous than the possibility of a future president failing to do enough to fight back against an actual attack on our homeland*.

    Any thinking person can see that Holder's letter is non-responsive, evasive, and deliberately manipulative in its sly reassurances, right down to the rhetorically powerful but substantively nonsensical invocation of 9/11. (Being more subtle about it than Rudy Giuliani doesn't make it right.) To credulously accept this sort of response, on an issue as important as this one, is behavior unfit for any citizen of a free country, where safeguarding the rule of law is a civic responsibility.

    More on Holder's extraordinary cases (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 06:14:35 PM EST
    For a while now, we have been wondering why the administration wouldn't flatly say whether or not the president could order someone killed by a drone strike on American soil. Turns out it was because the answer is, "Of course, he can, you silly people."

    The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.....

    I'm certainly reassured. Do we really have to go down the list of things that were "entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur" and ones we hoped no president would ever have to confront on September 10, 2001 that are now merely business as usual? This is that into which we have rendered ourselves. As a democracy, we now debate only what kind of monsters we may decide we have to be. Charlie Pierce


    And I uprated this commented (3.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 08:28:20 AM EST
    Because I am sick to death of people downrating comments here simply because they disagree with them.  Not that downrating is worth spit, it is just annoying.  Can't even have a phucking discussion around here anymore.  Even though Holder has now played the Yoo card, it is time to get back to discussions.

    Sorry, meant to type (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 07:49:57 AM EST
    He's my President, not my ex boyfriend.

    Too bad.... (none / 0) (#38)
    by unitron on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:11:39 AM EST
    ...would have been a very interesting story either way. : - )

    Larry was so much better on overnight radio (none / 0) (#39)
    by unitron on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:15:14 AM EST
    He used to get people, especially callers, claiming "all so and so are such and such", and he'd say "Name three".

    No one ever could.


    He had some crazy people who called (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 08:31:34 AM EST
    Him all the time.  He was better then.  My son blames Snoop Dog going Snoop Lion on Larry King, he says Larry King ruined Snoop.  I mostly remember that Larry was in love with peanut butter and he felt being denied peanut butter was the worst thing that had happened to him.  He kept me company though, and he kept a lot of us awake.

    Some of the covert ops we (none / 0) (#48)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 12:19:45 PM EST
    during the early years of the Cuban revolution were almost enough to make many a paranoid start believing their delusions.

    Well even though Hugo (none / 0) (#8)
    by fishcamp on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:52:19 PM EST
    was a bad dude (RIP) the fishing in Venezuela is superb.  I've been offshore for marlin and sailfish and up in the lakes for the strange paira fish that have giant lower fangs that pop out the top of their heads.  Venezuela has the distinct record of having more Miss America winners than any other country in the world.  All the women and little girls go to the beauty parlors almost daily in hope.  True truth.  Then the men are extremely macho and strut around like peacocks.  Also all,  windows in houses and buildings are covered with iron bars for protection.  Dealers sell straws of cocaine that they keep in their socks.  They are normal drinking straws melted off with half or whole grams.  It's not a safe 3rd world place.  But the fishing is great.  Sorry not one of my best fishing stories.

    They're taking our jobs! (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:14:59 PM EST
    Venezuela has the distinct record of having more Miss America winners than any other country in the world.

    Wait, what?


    I was there in 1994 (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:37:43 PM EST
    The people seemed terrified of any kind of police officer or government authority.  Tourists seemed to be coveted though. I was astonished by the poverty.  The women of poverty made beautiful pottery out of clay they dug out of the ground with their hands.  They did not have a way to fire it at a high temp though, so it was not very durable.  Over the years, piece by piece, it has fallen away from me.  I bought a lot of it.  The windows were all iron clad then, and anyone who was worth anything had their homes surrounded by ten foot concrete walls that had large shards of glass imbedded in the top.  My take was it was to keep the starving out, if you were starving and driven to scale it you'd be ripped to shreds.

    sorry, Miss Universe (none / 0) (#36)
    by fishcamp on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 08:52:54 AM EST
    Britt Whitmire of WBT retweeted... (none / 0) (#24)
    by unitron on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 12:23:15 AM EST
    The Fake ESPN ‏@TheFakeESPN

    Hugo Chavez has died, so Dennis Rodman will skip him and move on to a visit with Ahmadinejad.

    Human Rights Watch (none / 0) (#74)
    by SeeSpotCrunk on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:05:28 AM EST
    is clear; Chavez was a profoundly negative influence. He shut down opposition media and limited political speech by opponents through force.

    Like those of famous leftist dictators, Chavez's body will be embalmed and displayed publicly and permanently at a Museum of the Revolution which will be constructed as a shrine to him.

    He supposedly amassed over a billion dollars by stealing oil assets.

    He ran giant govt deficits even with overwhelming, stolen petrodollars to subsidize his programs. The  people of Venezuela will be forced to pay.