Monday Open Thread

Busy day at work today. I blogged a lot this weekend, so scroll down if you haven't read the posts.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

Who is leaving town for the holidays? I'll be right here.

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    I see that the NYT (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:18:43 AM EST
    ...has come out in opposition to torture, rape and murder.

    What a courageous stance!

    Next thing you know, they will say robbing banks is a crime.

    Okay, that was a stretch.

    Disagree. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:54:34 PM EST
    The NYT editorial is a courageous stance in that it, at least, is a stance that counters the weak "we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards," with a stronger "we can only move forward by looking backwards."  

    Cynicism is understandable but its deploy only joins up with, and is welcomed by,  apologists who determinedly work to change the name of torture as well as  to change the subject from torture.  

    The NYT, as a important media opinion-maker, has offered a course in which to take the blueprint of the Senate Intelligence Committee executive summary to a criminal inquiry.  Underscored is the fact that the depravities set forth are crimes in federal law and by Senate ratified treaty that requires prosecution of any acts of torture.  

    Many citizens have suspected for years that acts committed in our name was illegal, but the Senate executive summary provides evidence that CIA officials at the time knew that what they intended to do was prohibited by statute and asked not to be prosecuted.  The DOJ refused that request and a way around was found by securing a nano-patina of legality from  careerists, such as Yoo and Bybee.

    The public calling out for criminal investigation is necessary in light of the Senate Intelligence Committee's summary report.  To overlook this closet-full of smoking guns only adds to the damage done in the past and portends even more harm  in the future.  The NYT is not a branch of the DOJ, but its journalistic courage may serve as a billow to what too many want to be left as cooling embers.


    legal question: (none / 0) (#41)
    by ZtoA on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:20:30 PM EST
    IF president Obama issues a pardon for someone like Cheney, (not that he will, just IF), could Cheney refuse to be pardoned? I think not, but my visiting mother thinks he could choose not to accept a pardon.

    I don't think a pardon can be (none / 0) (#44)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:34:13 PM EST
    granted to someone who hasn't been convicted of anything.

    I don't think that is correct (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:04:14 PM EST
    Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, remember, before any charges were even filed, never mind a conviction.

    Yep. In 1866, the Supreme Court ruled in Ex parte Garland that the pardon power "extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment." (In that case, a former Confederate senator successfully petitioned the court to uphold a pardon that prevented him from being disbarred.) Generally speaking, once an act has been committed, the president can issue a pardon at any time--regardless of whether charges have even been filed.

    As the Explainer has pointed out before, there aren't many limits to the president's pardon power, at least when it comes to criminal prosecutions under federal law. The president's clemency power has its origins in the practices of the English monarchy, and as a result, the Supreme Court has given the president wide leeway under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. There are some exceptions: The chief executive can't pardon someone for a violation of state law or nullify a civil ruling, and his power doesn't extend to convictions handed down in an impeachment proceeding. (It's also not clear whether the president can pardon himself for future convictions.)

    While pre-emptive pardons remain very rare, there are a few notable exceptions. Perhaps the most famous presidential pardon of all time occurred before any charges were filed. Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon absolved the former president of "all offenses against the United States which he ... has committed or may have committed or taken part in" between the date of his inauguration in 1969 and his resignation in August 1974. In other cases, presidents have pardoned individuals after criminal proceedings have begun but before a judgment has been handed down. In late 1992, less than a month before leaving office, President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who had been indicted earlier that year on perjury charges surrounding the Iran-Contra affair. (A lawyer for Roger Clemens' former trainer Brian McNamee claimed the pitcher might receive a similar pardon from Bush if he were ever indicted.) In addition, broad presidential amnesties--like the one President Carter issued to those who had avoided the draft during the Vietnam War--are essentially pre-emptive pardons issued to a large group of individuals.



    Nixon. (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 01:32:38 AM EST
    Does a presidential pardon (none / 0) (#98)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 04:34:52 PM EST
    need to be accepted?  Yes. US v Wilson (1833) Chief Justice John Marshall:  "A pardon is a deed to the validity of which delivery is essential and delivery is not complete unless accepted."  This was tested  when Moses Dupry was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson on the last day of office.  Three days later, President Grant revoked the pardon, on the basis that the pardon was not delivered and accepted by Dupry.

    In Burdick v US (1914), George Burdick, city editor of the NY Tribune refused to answer questions from a grand jury.  He was given a pardon by President Wilson and then ordered to answer questions.   Burdick refused to accept the pardon and continued to refuse to answer questions (he did continue to invoke his fifth amendment rights).  

    In Biddle v Perovich (1927) A presidential commutation from the death penalty to life in prison was given.  Perovich said he did not accept and continued with his case.  However, Burdick did not apply.  In the case of a pardon, to accept one must implicitly accept wrongdoing.  Whereas, acceptance of a commutation does not, and does not have to be accepted.


    They Want a Special Prosecutor (none / 0) (#11)
    by RickyJim on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 11:53:23 AM EST
    to investigate whether criminal charges can be brought against Cheney, Addington, Yoo, Rizzo, the two Mormon psychologists, etc.  I think just as good a case can be brought against those who authorized drone strikes since they have caused collateral damage to civilians and haven't made the US any safer from Muslim terrorism - they have just caused two terrorists to pop up for every one that has been eliminated.

    Tell you what (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:37:45 PM EST
    Let's apply the principle of FIFO. How about we investigate criminal charges against those who authorized and participated in torture first.

    Once we complete that investigation, we can move on and investigate the use of drones.


    Nope (2.00 / 2) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:08:02 PM EST
    LIFO is much more appropriate...

    I mean the Repubs didn't elect Obama.


    No the Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:20:50 PM EST
    elected G.W. Bush whose administration authorized torture which is not only the topic under discussion but is clearly against domestic and international law.



    Heh (1.00 / 6) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:05:44 PM EST
    Enhanced interogation was legal, necessary and helpful.

    It was not torture.

    This was torture.


    That you think this is (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:07:51 PM EST
    Something to heh about is truly disgusting.

    Be careful (1.20 / 5) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:21:10 PM EST
    You might say something worth debating.

    Quit making things up (none / 0) (#55)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:14:22 PM EST
    Let me explain it to you.

    You prove my point.

    It defines you.

    Yeah, it'll be a long time before you bring something to debate without deploying one of the above.


    heh (1.50 / 4) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:59:31 PM EST
    Claiming to be disgusted over a comment is not an example of eloquence or knowledge of the subject.

    Here, again, is my point. Let's see if you can refute it.

    Let me pose a scenario to you. This afternoon you drive over to your local shopping center to shop. As you get out of your car you see an elderly lady walking towards her car one row over. You can also see two young thugs semi crouched between two cars, obviously waiting to mug her. As you start to move, one of the thugs sees you and makes a threatening gesture. Do you yell at her? Run at the thugs? Honk your horn? Dial 911? Or stand frozen in place, watching them jump out, grab her purse, knock her down and dash off?

    If you chose to do nothing, I submit that you have just committed an immoral act. You have committed a sin of omission. We are our brother's keeper.


    So are we or aren't we our brother's keeper?

    If you are elected to protect the country and if those selected to do the actual work tell you that they need to waterboard, deprive of sleep, make cold and uncomfortable the thugs who have attacked us and who have knowledge of those who attacked us.... And you do nothing... Haven't you failed in your duties??

    If your inaction allows the enemy to kill Americans... Aren't you guilty of accessory to murder??


    The failure, jim, is in surrounding (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 09:29:08 PM EST
    one's self with the kinds of people who think torturing people is the answer.

    The additional failure is in the fact that we tortured people who didn't attack us.  We tortured people who had no knowledge.  We detained and imprisoned innocent people who were minding their own business.  We discarded without a backward glance pretty much every precept and principle upon which this country was founded, shredded every constitutional right and protection in the mistaken belief that that's the only way we could keep our freedom.

    If I was elected to protect the country, and the people working for me came and told me we needed to torture people, those people would be out of a job.  We don't save anyone by engaging in torture, jim, we just lose more and more of our own humanity.


    Please forgive Jim. (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 12:45:56 AM EST
    He lives in a part of the country that once saw  slavery as nothing more than "enhanced employment," and still defines the Civil War as "The War of Northern Aggression."

    And you live in a part of the country (2.00 / 1) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 01:51:38 PM EST
    that killed thousands with measles and sent missionaries to straighten the natives out.

    As for today, you display pure ignorance in an attempt to make yourself look good/

    "You all come back now, you hear!?


    Nothing like Southern Hospitality (none / 0) (#91)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 02:40:17 PM EST
    Down here you can say anything nasty about anybody (none / 0) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 03:37:35 PM EST
    if you just start out by saying, "Bless their heart!"

    So, "Bless your heart!"


    Well, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 03:41:06 PM EST
    Bless your heart.  And don't forget, aren't you special?
    Well, I never!

    I'll pray for you. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 04:16:36 PM EST
    Anne, I shudder to think (2.00 / 2) (#89)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 01:48:11 PM EST
    of you elected to protect the country.

    We'd still be invading Japan and taking casualties every day.


    I never said it was. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:12:46 PM EST
    Quit making things up.

    Heh (none / 0) (#97)
    by jondee on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 04:31:47 PM EST
    which btw, according to the Peckerwood Dictionary, roughly translated means "I just thought 'a somthin'." or "I just had me an idea."

    "Our brother's keeper" is an expression that shouldn't ever be used by the people aligned with a movement dedicated to removing food from the mouths of poor children, and who scoff at the importance of healthy air, water, and soil for one's fellow citizens to the extent that they would do away with the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Are you your brother's keeper or even your brother's brother? No, you're not.

    Time to drop the charade that you are.


    My my you do rattle on so (2.00 / 3) (#101)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 06:14:08 PM EST
    If a body didn't know better they might think you knew what you was blathering about instead of understanding you're just making your usual wild claims.

    You sound like a faded (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 24, 2014 at 01:29:48 AM EST
    Southern belle.

    Flowers? For me? Well, I do declare, C iapitain Beauregard!

    So that Heritage Foundation script you adhere to, replete with it's "food stamp President" and calls for disolving the EPA is christian love and compassion in disguise; is that it?


    It makes my skin crawl how much (5.00 / 8) (#54)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:52:22 PM EST
    enjoyment you get from the mere mention of torture.

    I don't quite get why you feel it necessary to taunt people with your revolting and vile predilections, but I think there's half a chance you may be Dick Cheney's long-lost twin.  Which is enough to trigger non-stop gagging.

    What I suspect is true for both of you is that ol' 5-deferments Cheney, and good ol' heh-heh-heh jim wouldn't last more than an eye-blink if you were on the receiving end.  

    Big talk, little...walk.


    I don't usually read Anne (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by ZtoA on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 02:57:07 AM EST
    But I have to say that I so very much agree with what she writes on this subject!! (yes I did read).

    Refuting fairy tales (none / 0) (#77)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 06:20:18 AM EST
    ... doesn't require thinking ... or anything, really.  Your "points" are nothing more than specious claims.  Put on your thinking cap and disprove Santa, Jim ... then expect someone to address your fairy tale.

    Anne (1.43 / 7) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 09:00:40 PM EST
    I invite you to actually think and then try and refute my point.

    Jim - we're finally in 100% agreement (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:25:07 PM EST
    Directing anyone to your blog - if nothing else - is absolutely torture.

    If anyone (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:57:09 PM EST
    was actually reading Jim's blog, he wouldn't be sitting here all day. A few folks at TL is the only audience he can muster for his sewer pipe ramblings.

    You might think that the name (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:17:20 PM EST
    change is clever but it really is not. What was done was torture, and it was illegal, useless and barbaric.

    But (none / 0) (#62)
    by Palli on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:07:08 PM EST
    It is the reason they had (by hook or crook) to get a majority in Congress.
    And why 2016 will be a difficult if not [another] fraudulent election.

    So many crimes,so little time (none / 0) (#46)
    by FlJoe on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 06:17:09 PM EST
    May I suggest a little, excuse the term, prosecutorial discretion  here. I for one am rather dubious about the legality of droning but I am absolutely certain of the illegality of torture. There is are clearly spelled out prohibitons and sanctions  in international law. Decades of case law  indicate both sufficient probable cause exists and chance of conviction is high.
     As to drones the book is still being written. Unfortunately some future Geneva convention or more chillingly a Nurenburg trial will have to sort out the "rules" of robotic warfare in the age of asymetric warfare.

    Now class tell me which case would you charge and which case would you let slide ?


    If I won, neither. (none / 0) (#102)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 06:15:21 PM EST
    Apples and oranges, Jimmy Rick. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:19:40 PM EST
    Why don't you offer some original thought of your own, rather than mindlessly repeat right-wing talking points?

    Instead of Clichés (none / 0) (#21)
    by RickyJim on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:35:21 PM EST
    Try refuting Hanson's (or my) argument.  By the way, tell me about an original thought you have ever shared with us.

    Okay, here's one. (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:06:53 PM EST
    The subject being publicly discussed at present is torture, not drones. And even if the subject was drones, what makes you think that lets your boys in the Bush administration -- emphasis on the word "boys" -- off the hook here? Who do you think first authorized their use in combat?

    Whenever the discussion gets too dicey for neo-conservative tastes, these repeated attempts to change the subject to one more of your liking through the use of dubious equivalencies are nothing more than standard neocon operating procedure.

    And while we're on the subject of original thought on this particular topic, here's what I wrote about it on Dec. 11 of this year:

    "Torture is spiritually immoral in its conception. It is ethically impractical in its consideration. It is statutorily illegal in its implementation. And its victims are wholly unreliable as a credible source of useful information. I honestly don't think it can or should be explained any more plainly than that."

    So, if you want to defend the Bush administration's torture policy, then please go right ahead and knock yourself out. But speaking for myself only, I'm not going to talk about drone strikes simply because you desire to change the subject as a means of partisan spin. We've already discussed the morality and immorality of using drones here at TL any number of times in the past. Since you weren't around for them, you can look them up in the blog archives.



    There is another (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:49:35 PM EST
    unfortunate resemblance between the defenders of torture, and the defenders of the drone program.

    Cheney, most foul, when asked about the innocents who were tortured, responded with a chilling indifference.

    Similarly, when asked about the killing by of 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a US citizen, by a CIA led drone strike as he was eating his lunch by the side of the road, Obama's press secretary answered in a Cheney-esque fashion and said that Abdulrahman had chosen the wrong father.

    Both responses are bone-chilling - and neither has had much discussion in the press or from prominent politicians.

    There is room for anger against both practices.
    I do not see a partisan agenda in expressing that.

    The only way I would see partisanship would be if someone suggested that we investigate one practice but not the other.
    Or, worse, that they somehow cancel each other out.


    And no, they are NOT the same thing. But hey, thanks for doing your damnedest to validate the right wing's false equivalence for them, and trying your best to also muddy the discussion.

    You've certainly done your part to ensure that the two separate debates over the illegality of torture and the dubious ethics of drone strikes will indeed "somehow cancel each other out."

    Are you really that politically dense, that you can't see what the GOP far right is doing here by trying to bring up the topic of drone strikes? They can't defend the use of torture, so they try to change the subject.

    And because your own intense dislike of Barack Obama trumps everything else, even common sense, you witlessly jumped in to help them. Dick Cheney would thank you, but then he never thanks anyone.

    And FYI, this current debate over torture is very much partisan, regardless of whether or not you disapprove of that. It's a damned shame that it's become so, but it is what it is.

    After all, it wasn't the Democrats who boycotted their participation in the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into the U.S. intelligence community's use of torture during prisoner interrogations. And it's not the Democrats who are desperately trying to undermine the committee's findings.

    Please try to look at the whole forest for once, instead of forever staring at your favorite individual trees.



    The drone policy is worse (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Slado on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 02:14:50 AM EST
    And if you asked most Americans they would agree.  But that's not my main point.  Neither are how we should do business as Americans but trying to separate the two and other actions we've taken in our long war on terror is a way to score political points against one side or the other.

    Also if the AJ did a real investigation into the "torture" program many on the democratic side of congress and government wouldn't like what he'd find.  Namely their involvement and support of what took place..

    This attitude then and now has been completely bipartisan and for a simple reason.   It has directly corresponded to what the majority of Americans have wanted post 9/11.

    Now with hindsight many have come to question our tactics but that horse is out of the barn.  Even today polling still supports the use of "torture" when it's called EIT.

    So the idea that we can just set the drone war aside and look at a few bad men and women for torture prosecutions to me is a fantasy.   It is all one big collection of actions our government took in our name, and does today, to fight the bad guys in the name of protecting us from terror.


    It's not the same (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 06:28:27 AM EST
    Not even remotely true.  The use of drones in the battlefield versus the use of torture on prisoners are entirely different actions, based on entirely different legal (or extra-legal) reasons.  Not only can the law distinguish between two very different actions, but it should - and does - many thousands of times a day in court rooms across the country.  Continually trying to lump them together as "bad" and saying we can't address torture without addressing drones because (in your mind) drones are as bad (or worse) is ridiculous ... and transparent.

    Use of drones for targeted strikes (none / 0) (#80)
    by Politalkix on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 06:54:38 AM EST
    on terrorists is not different from use of Cruise missiles to kill terrorists (President Clinton used Cruise Missiles in an attempt to kill Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, however the target was able to escape) or enforcing no fly zones in Iraq.

    President Reagan bombed the palaces of Libtan leader Muammar Gadaffi killing his adopted 3 year old daughter. There was less legal justification for that action compared to use of drones by President Obama or use of Cruise missiles by President Clinton.

    Use of torture for captives totally under our control is a totally different animal however and should be treated as such.


    The reason why I think L's comments (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by ZtoA on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 03:05:45 AM EST
    are relevant is this may be one (not the only, just one) reason the president does not 'go after' Cheney/Bush. He makes himself liable too. In a different way, with different laws, but the spirit of the thing(s) are in a similar vein. I don't blame Obama. I understand and agree that he should not put himself on that sort of line. If he was impeached (which the insane GOP would totally do in a heartbeat) and he was actually removed from office, that would be very de-stabilizing for this nation-state. Obama is not in a position to express what others think. He is very constrained on these issues.

    Your (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 06:37:29 AM EST
    reply is so full of personal invective that it is difficult to respond.
    It is unfortunate that you take that road.

    It is also unfortunate that you don't seem to be able to read my comment without launching into a reply that is in essence unresponsive.

    My comment is about Obama only in the sense that he both let Cheney and Bush off the hook from day one, but also minimizes the effects of his drone policy.

    I don't care why the GOP, or so you say, brings up the subject of drone strikes. I wish that a liberal democrat would have brought up the subject, as I said.

    For you, unfortunately, so much is seen through your commitment to domestic politics - democrat v/s republican.

    A discussion with you is not possible because of your persistent lapses into personal invective.


    et al, repeat after me (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 01:46:03 PM EST
    illegal is illegal is illegal.

    No matter how hard you try, if you believe enhanced interrogation is illegal then you must believe killing civilians who just happen to be there is also illegal.

    In fact, most of you have claimed that Israel's attacks on sites were Hamas has used human shields to be illegal.  


    jim, if you're so convinced it's okay to (5.00 / 5) (#92)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 02:51:18 PM EST
    torture people, why do you keep hiding behind the more genteel "enhanced interrogation?"  

    If you have to call it something else to make it seem not as bad as it is, I think you've already conceded your argument isn't credible.

    I think most of us who are opposed to torture don't feel any better about the faceless drone killing of civilians who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I don't think we're taking the position that collateral damage is okay as long as we got the one "terrorist" we were aiming for.  I think that's a rationalization more up your alley.

    In my opinion, living under the threat of drone attacks is just another form of torture - but maybe you'd call it something nicer, like "psy-ops."  

    It's nice that your pig can wear so many shades of lipstick.


    Why?? (2.00 / 2) (#95)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 03:51:25 PM EST
    why do you keep hiding behind the more genteel "enhanced interrogation?"

    Because it is an accurate description of what was done.

    This is torture.


    Yes, it is, when it takes so long... (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by unitron on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 05:13:43 PM EST
    ...to effect the taking of the victims's life, instead of being nearly instantaneous.

    But that doesn't mean that anything and everything not immediately lethal is less than torture just because we came up with a euphimism for it.


    Torture denotes hurtful things (none / 0) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 06:11:54 PM EST
    done over a period of time.

    Speaking of which, can you imagine the torture those people trapped in the towers on 9/11 when they had to decide to burn to death or jump?

    And the connection between the so-called torture and the killings by the drones is simple. By your standard, both are illegal yet I see no support for prosecuting Obama.


    There's no need (1.33 / 3) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:07:04 PM EST
    to defend Bush's policy.

    Holder has already he won't prosecute.

    Probably because the use of drones.

    And no one but the far Left gives a flip.



    How is (none / 0) (#43)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 05:21:48 PM EST
    calling for a simultaneous investigation - by a special prosecutor if necessary - of the results of drone strikes and their effects on the indigenous populations and the growth of terrorist groups a "right wing talking point"?

    Is it simply because while Bush and Cheney are responsible for torture and are republicans, the Obama administration - the responsible parties vis a vis the incineration of a number of innocents by drones - are democrats?

    Does calling for investigations against both sets of atrocities, waged in our collective name, make one a right-winger?

    If anything, it seems like a left wing proposal to me.


    I call your Drones (none / 0) (#19)
    by FlJoe on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:26:51 PM EST
    And raise you an investigation of McCollough and throw in Clive Bundy et al.

    I assume that (none / 0) (#38)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:50:37 PM EST
    you are being sarcastic when you say that the NYTimes editorial is "courageous".


    It may be obvious to everyone, almost everyone, that crimes by government officials should be investigated and prosecuted, but President Obama has not been among them.

    Although the editorial does not directly call Bush out for his lies, or call directly for him to be investigated, it does do so with respect to Dick Cheney.

    If that is not exactly courageous, it is nevertheless straightforward. It does not mince words.

    That's more than I can say for our President who has expressed his feeling of being, "troubled", by the report - but not troubled enough to order a full scale investigation - with a call for the prosecution of the guilty whomever they may be.

    So, if the Times is not exactly "courageous" in your view, what does that say about our political leadership who are relatively mute on the subject - willing to let it go and talk about North Korea and Sony instead.


    North Korea under cyber attack (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 12:47:06 PM EST
    by somebody?

    "I haven't seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before," said Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at the cybsecurity firm Dyn Research, according to Martyn Williams of the excellent blog North Korea Tech. Madory explained, "Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn't be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently."

    The outage also comes as China is investigating the accusations against North Korea over the Sony hack. North Korea's internet access is wired through China, which gives China more or less direct control over North Korea's access to the outside world.

    Dam. Joe Cocker died. RIP. (5.00 / 6) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:32:07 PM EST

    Joe & Leon, more or less: (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 02:37:41 PM EST
    Joe Cocker was really something. (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:18:59 PM EST
    I've always loved his soulful cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends." And I'm grateful to have had the privilege of seeing him live in concert.

    I actually liked (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:34:50 PM EST
    Joe Cocker's cover of "With a Little Help From My Friends" better than the Beatles' original.  This is not meant to dis the Beatles in any way, because they were absolutely great.
    But I appreciated Joe's gritty, blues-and-soul-infused voice.  
    He was part of the soundtrack of my young adulthood, and he will be missed.
    I still regret not going to Woodstock to see Joe's performance live (as well as the many other, great performers).  I have a couple of friends who did go, but I was working full-time that summer, to pay for my upcoming senior year in college, as well as helping my parents out, and I simply could not afford to take a few days off from work.

    I'm sorry I missed Woodstock, too. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:13:48 PM EST
    But my mother simply refused to let me go on a cross-country road trip. I bet that being 8 years old likely had something to do with it.


    But she did buy me the Woodstock live double-album for Christmas when I was 12, still trying to make up for the faux pas of six years earlier, when I received "The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles."



    De Blasio is knocking it out of (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:26:22 PM EST
    The park right now, in the face of grave horrible tragedy.  He is lining it out, and everyone with it.  Wish all of our leaders had the ability!

    The Pope's Annual Christmas Message calls out the those cardinals and bishops running the Vatican bureaucracy as a bunch of self-absorbed old farts:

    Los Angeles Times | December 22, 2014
    'Spiritual Alzheimer's': Pope Francis' stern lecture to Roman Curia - "Pope Francis on Monday launched a stunning attack on the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Vatican, accusing them of succumbing to greed, jealousy, hypocrisy, cowardice and 'spiritual Alzheimer's. In a pre-Christmas speech to the officials of the Roman Curia, Francis kept the season's greeting to a minimum, choosing instead to ask prelates to make 'a real examination of conscience.' [...] Francis also slammed prelates for showing off, accumulating wealth and leading double lives, which he said could lead to 'existential schizophrenia.'"

    Pope Francis -- naming names and kicking a$$!

    I love it! (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:17:53 PM EST
    I'm betting that more than a few Cardinals are regretting having elevated Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the Papacy, and I'm sure that most of the Roman Curia are not exactly happy about it.
    You go, Pope Francis!
    Can the Eastern Orthodox Church clone him and make his clones Patriarchs of more than a few of the Orthodox jurisdictions?  (And yes, I'm looking at you, the Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, in particular.)

    Santa came a little early here (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:41:42 PM EST
    my sister got an iPad and I spent, probably, an hour on iPad school between cooking Christmas dinner and serving and eating it.  Which sort of struck me.  She had a desktop and more recently a lap top so she understands the concept but she had never used a touch screen devise not even a smart phone.
    And I go back tonight for Christmas leftovers and she has become this total MacHead.  Swapping bible apps with her girlfriends and talking sh!t about the ones who still use Outlook.

    De Blasio's problems (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Slado on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 02:28:25 AM EST
    With the police run deeper then just the Garner incident.


    Tiger Beat on the Potomic? (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 08:13:44 AM EST
    Yeah, I'm sure it is very credible.

    As this post from No More Mr Nice Guy (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 08:59:07 AM EST
    put it:


    A lot of people are reading Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush's Politico piece "De Blasio's Nightmare." It's not a bad piece, but this is really misleading (emphasis added):

    The blue rage isn't rooted in any one statement de Blasio has made against cops -- in fact, he has been universally supportive of the rank-and-file in his public utterances. But in his past roles as a public official, he's often sided with the victims of police brutality, and recently told an interviewer that he has told Dante, his teenaged mixed-race son, not to reach for a cellphone around officers because it might put him in danger as a "a young man of color." He took the unusual step -- unimaginable under the mayoralties of Rudy Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg -- of inviting Sharpton to City Hall, seating him opposite Bratton at a table where the activist proceeded to strongly denounce the police.

    Haberman and Thrush are trying to portray Bloomberg and Giuliani as two responsible conservatives who were at odds with Sharpton, while de Blasio is a dangerous radical who hobnobs with him. In fact, while Sharpton was highly critical of Bloomberg on issues such as stop and frisk, the two have had a rather cozy relationship


    And, after Bloomberg left office, here's a Daily News story about Sharpton's sixtieth birhday celebration:
    Three-term former Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote: "You're truly a unique American voice. A voice that has matured a great deal without mellowing one bit. And your best days are still ahead."

    The story adds:
    Sharpton stayed quiet about Bloomberg's decision to overturn term limits after he received a $110,000 grant from the mayor's nonprofit, the Daily News reported at the time.

    Yes -- when Bloomberg got New York City's term limits law suspended so he could run for a third term in 2009, he threw Sharpton a six-figure check, and Sharpton didn't object to Bloomberg's run

    It's somewhat sad to see someone like Ms. Haberman descent into hackery, but that's what they publish at TBOTP these days.


    Police Unions (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Palli on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 10:50:43 AM EST
    The bully power of Police Unions is immense but it represents the worst of unions. The stridently inflammatory language of some Police Union bosses does not represent the majority of police officers. When these bosses threaten elected individuals and the general public, they sound like leaders of gangland Protection Rackets. (Whose to say, they aren't?) The actions of their faithful are harmful to public safety and our trust in law enforcement, These union bosses amplify the dangers of our violent society.

    In addition, it should be common knowledge that Law enforcement in many communities has two police unions- one for White cops and another for Black cops. In St louis, it is the Ethical Society of Police and there is a statewide and national association of African American police as well. Which unions do the media contact?  


    Police Unions (none / 0) (#86)
    by Palli on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 10:45:49 AM EST
    The bully power of Police Unions is immense but it represents the worst of unions. The stridently inflammatory language of some Police Union bosses does not represent the majority of police officers. When these bosses threaten elected individuals and the general public, they sound like leaders of gangland Protection Rackets. (Whose to say, they aren't?) The actions of their faithful are harmful to public safety and our trust in law enforcement, These union bosses amplify the dangers of our violent society.

    In addition, it should be common knowledge that Law enforcement in many communities has two police unions- one for White cops and another for Black cops. In St louis, it is the Ethical Society of Police and there is a statewide and national association of African American police as well. Which unions do the media contact?  


    Hopefully I won't even leave (none / 0) (#1)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 07:14:04 AM EST
    the key of Lower Matecumbe, in Islamorada, except by boat.  In theory, I could even go to Cuba, on a very calm day.  Hey CG, we could troll across to Cuba and bring the people some Christmas fish, which they rarely get, since Castro doesn't let them have boats.

    Thought of you (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by sj on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 03:14:33 PM EST
    when I saw this.

    Maybe we could get the franchise (none / 0) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:22:36 AM EST
    from Mako and open an outlet (and drydock) in Varadero.

    Scott (none / 0) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:16:49 AM EST
    After you had written Seattle off as possibly missing the playoffs 2 weeks ago, the only likely thing standing in the path of the Seahawks now being at home for the entire playoffs is the lowly St Louis Rams.

    I think more people are now ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 12:39:13 PM EST
    ... seriously reassessing Seattle's odds of repeating as champs this season after these last five games, with their defense having surrendered a mere 6.8 points per outing. Arguably, the "Legion of Boom" is likely the best I've seen since the '85 Bears.

    That said, the Seahawks better not look past the Rams. They did once earlier this year, and paid dearly for the oversight in a 28-26 loss. They have every incentive to win here, because if the stumble next weekend, they'll probably be hitting the road for the playoffs, rather than enjoying the friendly confines of home.



    That'll teach 'em! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 09:42:17 AM EST
    From TPM

    U.S. Mulls Putting North Korea On Terrorism List For 'Cybervandalism'

    So what's your brilliant teaching plan? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 09:55:49 AM EST
    Better (none / 0) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:19:52 AM EST

    Better nothing than something ridiculous.

    Why do you think this is the only (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:39:35 AM EST
    Response they will have?

    I wait (none / 0) (#23)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:46:41 PM EST
    with bated breath.

    Didn't have to wait long (none / 0) (#24)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:50:20 PM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 06:44:04 PM EST
    That's all you could find?

    Take another look ...


    Well, then how convenient for you ... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    ... that you're in good standing as a member of the GOP's hallelujah chorus, because you get to sing that party's talking points from the right field bleachers, rather than be the person who has to examine and choose from among all available options short of war.

    I daresay at this point those options are likely rather limited, given North Korea's longstanding status in the world as an international pariah.

    Don't you ever get tired of being told repeatedly that you're all meringue and no filling? One of these days, you'll hopefully impart a thought that's actually interesting and original.



    "All meringue (none / 0) (#15)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:10:40 PM EST
    and no filling."  I am so stealing that phrase!   ;-)

    Please, be my guest. (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:22:51 PM EST
    After all, I took it from my grandmother. ;-D

    I will gladly (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 02:16:59 PM EST
    do so.  I've heard "All foam and no beer," but never the meringue one.
    And I also like:
    "People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
    ― Søren Kierkegaard
    Although, quoting Kierkegaard may be a but too "high-falutin'" for some people.   ;-)

    I came up with a similar metaphor (none / 0) (#82)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 08:15:28 AM EST
    Without knowing this one:  All bubbles, and no beer.

    Was North Korea framed? (none / 0) (#36)
    by unitron on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:45:45 PM EST
    Should have said... (none / 0) (#37)
    by unitron on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 04:46:30 PM EST
    ..."an" inside job.

    "Peace on Earth," (none / 0) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 11:47:28 AM EST
    even without goodwill for all.   A very nice Christmas card from Dr. Paul Krugman (NYT, op ed, Dec 22, 2014.)   The idea of war is old-fashioned--it makes you poorer and weaker, even if you win. With specific references to Vlad Putin, who has no notion of how to function in the 21st Century, and American neocons, who romanticize the leadership of a Putin, riding off shirtless, only to find that plunder just isn't what it once was.

    First I read the NYT article on (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 11:51:47 AM EST
    U.S., British, and Indian prior electronic surveillance re the Mumbai attacks.  Then I read Jeralyn's post. I'm pretty sure she could work for the NYT is she chose to.

    `Kim Jong Un isn't stupid: (none / 0) (#16)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 01:16:32 PM EST
    he knows that his weak, impoverished state is much weaker than the US and South Korea and Japan, all of whom would just love to see his government collapse. North Korea can only deter those enemies by being more threatening and dangerous; it will never be stronger, so it has to be crazier instead, always more willing to escalate. This convinces the US and other countries, even if they see through Kim's game, that it's just easier to stay away from North Korea than to risk provoking the country into another flamboyant attack.'

    Movies (none / 0) (#45)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 06:02:54 PM EST
    I just watched Foxcatcher and Wild.  I thought both were good.  Foxcatcher might be Oscar worthy.  

    Has anyone done any serious hiking like the main character in Wild?  I've been wanting to do a smaller version of that kind of trip but I'm somewhat of an outdoors wimp.  

    Seems to be going around (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 08:45:14 PM EST
    A happy story for all animal lovers (none / 0) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 09:27:56 AM EST
    at TL.

    Derby's story http://tinyurl.com/p6goo7x


    China has started work on... (none / 0) (#63)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:11:56 PM EST
    With this canal (none / 0) (#75)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 05:40:14 AM EST
    China is going to singlehandedly break the stranglehold that the longshoreman's union has on those west coast ports.

    Presidents Obama and Clinton (none / 0) (#66)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 10:50:44 PM EST
    have taken less vacations than Presidents Bush and Reagan. The numbers will surprise you.

    Nice to see (none / 0) (#67)
    by Slado on Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 11:33:43 PM EST
    That not everyone in Washington hates each other's guts.

    Obama and Corbon BFF

    GotNews: (none / 0) (#76)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 05:52:39 AM EST
    We Can Conclusively Confirm North Korea Was Not Behind #Sony Hack

    Our Gotnews.com investigation into the data that has been released by the "hackers" shows that someone at Sony was copying 182GB at minimum the night of the 21st-the very same day that Sony Pictures' head of corporate communications, Charles Sipkins, publicly resigned from a $600,000 job.

    This could be a coincidence but it seems unlikely. Sipkins's former client was NewsCorp and Sipkins was officially fired by Pascal's husband over a snub by the Hollywood Reporter.

    Two days later a malware bomb occurred.

    We are left with several conclusions about the malware incident:

    1. The "hackers" did this leak physically at a Sony LAN workstation.....

    NYT (none / 0) (#83)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 08:53:43 AM EST