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Tag: Barack Obama (page 3)

Jackson/Rivers v. Obama/McCain

On one side we have two brilliant strategists and great team leaders, and on the other side there's a telegenic spokes-model and a semi-senile dinosaur.

And unfortunately for all of us, the great leaders are competing for bragging rights about a kids' game, while the bozos are fumbling and bumbling and humbugging our world into oblivion.

The Lakers draft Kobe Bryant. McCain drafts Sarah Palin. Obama drafts Larry Summers.

Harharharhar!!!

McCain and Obama are idiots!

And since it's pointless to ask how we could convert American politics into something more like the NBA, with brilliant leaders instead of clowns in charge, because we all know that isn't going to happen...

We might as well ask how to convert the NBA into something more like American politics, and that would be simpler than you might imagine, because...

All we have to do is make sucking up to the fans the only qualification for coaching, with the proviso that none of the candidates has any kind of record as a coach, or even as a player.

"You/We are the ones we/you were waiting for!"

"I love your values!"

And if you subtracted sucking up to the fans from McCain and Obama, both those clowns would disappear, like smoke blown away from a mirror.

 

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Rod Blagojevich Requests Subpoena for President Obama

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich filed a motion (available here) to have a subpoena issued to President Obama to testify at his upcoming trial. The issue: The vacant Illinois Senate seat. From the motion:

President Barack Obama has direct knowledge of the Senate seat allegation. President Obama’s testimony is relevant to three fundamental issues of that allegation. First, President Obama contradicts the testimony of an important government witness. Second, President Obama’s testimony is relevant to the necessary element of intent of the defendant. Third, President Obama is the only one who can say if emissaries were sent on his behalf, who those emissaries were, and what, if anything, those emissaries were instructed to do on his behalf. All of these issues are relevant and necessary for the defense of Rod Blagojevich.

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Hypocritical Prosecution for War-Crimes in Miami

From the Guardian...

The American-born son of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor has been ordered to pay more than £14m in compensation to five people tortured during the West African country's civil war.

A judge in the US made the order a year after the same Miami court sentenced Charles McArthur Emmanuel Taylor, known as Chuckie, to 97 years in prison for his role in one of Africa's bloodiest chapters; he was the first person to be convicted by a federal court of committing offences outside the US.

The 32-year-old led the notorious Anti-Terrorist Unit, a band of pro-government paramilitaries nicknamed the Demon Forces who carried out murder and torture during his father's presidency from 1997 to 2003.

Witnesses at his criminal trial in 2008 spoke of hearing him laugh as prisoners were abused and how the Anti-Terrorist Unit "did things like beating people to death, burying them alive, rape - the most horrible kind of war crimes".

A spokesman for United States immigration and customs enforcement said that it was a "clear message the US would not be a safe haven for human rights violators."

The US isn't a safe haven for war-criminals?

B*llsh*t!

Remember these fine words from Barack Obama?

In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.

And Eric Holder...

In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.

The torture memos from Bybee and Yoo cover everybody else, and Bybee and Yoo aren't guilty either! It was just a "bad judgement!"

Abracadabra!

Everybody walks! Nobody goes to jail!

So forget about the "clear message the US would not be a safe haven for human rights violators."

The real message for the torturers of tomorrow is...

Get some wh*re of lawyer (like John Yoo) in your local DOJ to opine that whatever you do is legal, and then you can chop up your victims with no more fear of prosecution than if you were chopping onions.

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Sunday Talk Shows

I just received the transcript from NBC's Meet the Press today. Here's Valerie Jarrett on Scott Brown's Senate victory:

I think the question to be asked, and what we learned from the Massachusetts victory, is that people are sick and tired of Washington not delivering for them.

And so, the question is really will the Republican Party become-- be willing to come and work with us? A silver lining is Senator Brown said yes, he's looking forward to coming to Washington and working with the Democrats. And we're hoping that that provides new leadership within the party.

On yesterday's Osama bin Laden tape: [More...]

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The Left's Reaction to Taibbi on Obama and the Economy

Matt Taibbi's new article in Rolling Stone castigating Obama for his choice of economic advisors and handling of the economy is creating a big buzz. Here's Digby and Kevin Drum. Taibbi ends his extremely long article with:

What's most troubling is that we don't know if Obama has changed, or if the influence of Wall Street is simply a fundamental and ineradicable element of our electoral system. What we do know is that Barack Obama pulled a bait-and-switch on us. If it were any other politician, we wouldn't be surprised. Maybe it's our fault, for thinking he was different.

I don't see why anyone is surprised that Obama is a moderate -- or not progressive on many issues the left cares about most. [More...]

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A Victim of "Bipartisanship"

From the Guardian...

Tension between gangs of teenagers in Chicago's schools that last year saw the killing of a record 42 young people has reached a peak in the city following the beating to death of a 16-year-old that was captured on camera.

Derrion Albert is seen being struck on the head by a boy in a purple shirt who hits him from behind with a long wooden board, thought to be a part of a railway sleeper. Albert falls to the ground, then stands up and is immediately punched in the face by another boy. He slumps to the ground a second time and stays down for more than a minute. Then he struggles onto his feet for a third time, at which point a separate boy strikes him again over the head with a wooden board before a fourth boy stomps on top of his head.

That time he stays down for good.

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Two Coups, and a Cuckoo Condemnation of Obama

The New York Times is currently hosting a thunderous editorial by Mark Weisbrot about Barack Obama's "failure" in Latin America. Obama has done "worse than Bush." Hopes have been dashed!

The occasion of this over-the-top indictment is the military coup which overthrew President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras on June 28, 2009. According to the Times editorial, President Obama should have condemned this coup immediately! Immediately!

Instead he waited almost a week.

Unthinkable!

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Obama/Gates/Crowley: Relevant Statutes, Case Law, and Model Code

The first stop on this road is the original police report, and this is the section that directly recounts the arrest.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii97/JacobFreeze/TL.jpg

There are several critical elements in this account which bring it into conformity with the "definition" of disorderly conduct, which comes in three layers:

  1. Statutes
  2. Case law
  3. Model code

The most important layer is the model code, which is likely to be totally unfamiliar to almost everybody, so we might as well start there.

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Obama Gets It Right, Where Condi Got It Wrong With Iran

Way back in May 2005, less than a month before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected President of Iran, the barking idiot Condoleeza Rice was prancing around the Middle East and threatening Iran with the sort of "major changes" which the United States had already inflicted on Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The Iranians should not consider themselves immune from the major changes that are going on in the region, and we would hope that they would begin to engage in more stabilizing behavior," said Rice, speaking after a meeting with Kuwaiti's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed al-Sabah.

Iranians voters, who were about to choose between the violently anti-American Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the much more conciliatory Mohammad Khatami, and the centrist Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, immediately understood that Condoleeza Rice was sending them a message!

"Elect that hard-liner Ahmadinejad and the biggest bully on the block will open a can of whip-ass on your sorry Islamic butts!"

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Obama, John Rawls, and a Defense of the Unreasonable

Cross-posted from ProgressiveHistorians

If you want to understand President Obama's soul, read his books.  But if you want to understand his beliefs, read John Rawls.  The Harvard academic, who died in 2002, was the most important philosopher of liberalism in the twentieth century, mostly because, in so many ways, Rawls' ideas describe the world we live in.  That has never been more true than today, when our President has, consciously or unconsciously, exalted Rawlsian ideas to the position of the greatest possible good.

Care to hear more about this explanatory model that is so central to Obama's thought, whether he acknowledges the influence or not?  Read on.

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Our Romantic President

Props to President Obama for taking Michelle out on a romantic date to New York last night.

It was exciting not just for the Obamas, but for the New Yorkers who got to view them, the restaurant chef and staff who served them, the diners in the restaurant who applauded as they left, the actors in the Broadway show they attended --- and the one that struck me the most, the surprised guy sitting next to Obama at the play. [More...]

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How Cheney and the Times Framed Obama

The Times supplies its story with a screaming headline...

Banned Techniques Yielded `High Value Information,' Memo Says

Torture works! Who knew?

The source of this garbage is Admiral Dennis Blair, who is deeply committed to giving everybody who tortured detainees a free pass.

"I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past," he wrote, "but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given."

So it isn't exactly big news that this guy would claim his top-secret records prove that torture really works, and we're all so much safer because a few raggedy Arabs were (half) drowned, frozen, humiliated, beaten, kicked, suffocated, sleep-deprived, isolated, chained up like pretzels for days at a time and forced to poop and pee all over themselves, while their families were arrested, threatened, tortured, deported, and dispossessed.

 

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Our Consumer Plutocracy

 We Americans dwell in a consumer plutocracy, and the plutocrats don't even bother to be cute about it any more. Barack Obama, hailed by the geniuses of new media as a populist saviour, has surrounded himself with a team that was already bought and paid for by the financial services industry before they ever walked into the White House.

Larry Summers collected $5.2 million last year from his part-time job with a hedge fund.

$5.2 million for a part-time job!

One day per week!

"And just in case you ever get a big job in Washington, Larry, remember who your friends are!"

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Obama: Corruption We Can Believe In

Glenn Greenwald has recently posted a very abstract jeremiad about our corrupt "establishment," with multiple concurring citations from Atrios, Paul Krugman, Matt Taibbi, Armando, (Big Tent Democrat on TalkLeft), and even Eliot Spitzer, recently returned from the dead by a collective realization that he was right about everything.

Our "establishment" is corrupt, and public outrage about the AIG bonuses is a very good thing, because it scares the corrupt "elite," and fear is the only force that can control those monsters.

This is only half right, as far as it goes, but it doesn't go quite far enough, and stops at a politically safe distance from the Oval Office, which is exactly where the buck is supposed to stop, and where Barack Obama continues to enable and support the most corrupt financial "establishment" since exactly the same corrupt "establishment" produced the Great Depression.

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Obama: Gitmo Will Take Time to Close

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he would close Guantanamo during his first 100 days in office. This morning, on ABC's This Week with Stephanopoulos, he backtracked:

"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize," the President-elect explained. "Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom who may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it's true.

And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn't result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up."

Shorter version: It will close at some point, just not as soon as he promised.[More...]

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