Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Ahhh, Ms. Bachmann? It's Smoot-Hawley, darlin'. Not "Hoot-Smaley." And it was a tariff act signed into law by Republican President Herbert Hoover. According to Wikipedia
In May 1930, a petition was signed by 1028 economists in the United States asking President Herbert Hoover to veto the legislation, organized by Paul Douglas, Irving Fisher, James TFG Wood, Frank Graham, Ernest Patterson, Henry Seager, Frank Taussig, and Clair Wilcox. Automobile executive Henry Ford spent an evening at the White House trying to convince Hoover to veto the bill, calling it "an economic stupidity". J. P. Morgan's chief executive Thomas W. Lamont said he "almost went down on my knees to beg Herbert Hoover to veto the asinine Hawley-Smoot tariff."Smoot-Hawley was a Republican idea!!!! Bachmann is one stupid person.
Hoover opposed the bill and called it "vicious, extortionate, and obnoxious" because he felt it would undermine the commitment he had pledged to international cooperation. (Hoover was right. The international community levied their own tariffs in response after the bill had become law.) However, in the end, Hoover bowed to pressure from his own party and business leaders and signed the bill. 
Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke against the act while campaigning for president in 1932.
Still, it’s certainly ironic that so many Republicans, who have spent most of this decade accusing Democrats of being un-American and unpatriotic, are now talking treason against this country. When it comes to “America, love it or leave it,” half of Texan Republicans want to leave it. Those bumper stickers that say “These colors don’t run”? Apparently they do. And their patriotism is apparently so skin-deep that it depends entirely on the occupant of the White House.
If nothing else, perhaps it’s time for the GOP to stop calling itself the “party of Lincoln.”
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
...when the U.S. Government eavesdropped for years on American citizens with no warrants and in violation of the law, that was "both legal and necessary" as well as "essential to U.S. national security," and it was the "despicable" whistle-blowers (such as Thomas Tamm) who disclosed that crime and the newspapers which reported it who should have been criminally investigated, but not the lawbreaking government officials. But when the U.S. Government legally and with warrants eavesdrops on Jane Harman, that is an outrageous invasion of privacy and a violent assault on her rights as an American citizen, and full-scale investigations must be commenced immediately to get to the bottom of this abuse of power. [emphasis his]Read more here.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Neither do "enhanced interrogation techniques" or whatever other euphamistic bullshit you want to use to describe torture. In a Washington Post Op-Ed today, Ali Soufan, a supervisory special agent with the FBI describes the lies and deceptions of the torture apologists with actual evidence of the failures of torture as official state policy.
Got that? THIS IS FALSE. It's a lie. But not only that, torture has other consequences...
There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. The information that led to Mr. Shibh’s capture came primarily from a different terrorist operative who was interviewed using traditional methods. As for Mr. Padilla, the dates just don’t add up: the harsh techniques were approved in the memo of August 2002, Mr. Padilla had been arrested that May.
One of the worst consequences of the use of these harsh techniques was that it reintroduced the so-called Chinese wall between the C.I.A. and F.B.I.This was because the FBI were explicitly forbidden from using torture to get information. They could not be present when the CIA were waterboarding or using other torture techniques.
An F.B.I. colleague of mine who knew more about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed than anyone in the government was not allowed to speak to him.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo. By Scott Horton.At least someone's doing something... Who are the other five?
Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday before the Spanish central criminal court, the Audencia Nacional, in Madrid. But the decision is likely to raise concerns with the human-rights community on other points: They will seek to have the case referred to a different judge.
The six defendants—in addition to Gonzales, Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith—are accused of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in “the war on terror.”The game's over you fucking neocon assholes. Time to pay up. Bush, we're coming for you next.
Former president George W. Bush and some of his White House aides are gathering in Dallas this week to plan the future George W. Bush Policy Institute. There, I guess, they will ponder grand themes and marble foyers, but I propose they begin by simply renaming the place. I suggest naming it the "George W. Bush Institute of Management Failure" and dedicating it to studying how this presidency went so wrong -- a task as big as Texas itself.I can't for the life of me imagine what one might learn at the "George W. Bush Policy Institute" other than how to be a horrible leader. How to fuck up two wars and alienate everyone? Lessons in waterboarding and other torture techniques? How to eavesdrop without a warrant? Kidnapping? Fear mongering?
Monday, April 13, 2009
These people are nuckin' futs!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
This whole meme is truly moronic. Nebraska has full representation in the government, so these 'tards should shut the hell up. Just because their worthless candidates didn't succeed in the last election, doesn't mean they aren't represented. It means that their opinions are, in large part, irrelevant. If these people who are so concerned with "representation," why do their ideological leaders oppose DC statehood? Why aren't they marching on Washington to support the rights of the 600,000 DC residents who pay taxes but have no representation? Because they're hypocritical douchebags is why.
Hundreds of Nebraskans chanted no taxation without representation in protest of increased government spending spawned by the stimulus bill at the state capitol Saturday
The tea party style protest is intended to mimic Revolutionary War era protests where citizens believed they were being unfairly taxed.
But instead of throwing bags of tea in the water, protestors at today's rally brought cans of pork and beans to symbolize their unhappiness with pork barrell spending.
David Broder today, on whether there should be an investigation of the Bush years:
“I understand the reluctance to open a wide-ranging probe of past practices. It seems to me we are better off focusing on cleaning up the policies and practices for the future than trying to settle scores for past actions.”David Broder, famously, as Clinton’s administration wound down:
“He came in here and he trashed the place, and it’s not his place.”The disparity in outrage is really amazing. The above Broder quote comes from an infamous 1998 piece in The Washington Post by Sally Quinn in which many D.C. establishment figures expressed raw shock about how Bill Clinton had despoiled what Quinn called their “town.” In that piece, Chris Matthews summed up the emotional reaction of the townies by saying: “I resent deeply being constantly lied to.”
Friday, April 10, 2009
Apparently the soul of "Tail Gunner" Joe McCarthy has surfaced in the body of a cranky southern Congressman by the name of Bachus. Bachus claims to have the names of 17 colleagues in the US House of Representatives who are "socialists." It's pathetic, really. This is all the conservative movement has left. Vague accusations and innuendo.
...[H]e said he is worried that he is being steered too far by the Congress: "Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists." Asked to clarify his comments after the breakfast speech at the Trussville Civic Center, Bachus said 17 members of the U.S. House are socialists.For the record, there is exactly one socialist in Congress and he's in the Senate. His name is Bernie Sanders. Bernie, the junior Senator from Vermont, is a self-described democratic socialist. He caucuses with the Democrats for the purposes of committee assignments.
This is precisely how the McCarthyite witch-hunts of the early 195os began. Vague suspicion
and lists of unnamed enemies.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
McCain's message was obvious, the source continued: After bucking his party on immigration, he had no sympathy for Hispanics who are dissatisfied with President Obama's pace on the issue. "He threw out [the words] 'You people -- you people made your choice. You made your choice during the election,' " the source said. "It was almost as if [he was saying] 'You're cut off!' We felt very uncomfortable when we walked away from the meeting because of that."You people? Nice, Mr. Petulant. Very nice.
The truth is, the American Enterprise Institute isn't a think tank, not in any conventional sense. The thoughts of its members were frozen a decade ago, and no amount of evidence will cause them to change one jot or tittle of their rigid ideology. AEI is a booking agency. A PR firm tasked with providing Republican "names" to fit any gap in your programming schedule.
For a media producer, AEI means you don't have to find someone who really knows a subject, or someone who has something new to say, or someone who might provide an unconventional angle. Why bother? One press of the speed dial, and AEI will deliver faster than Tony's Pizza. They'll give you someone who you already know is an experienced talking head, so you don't have to worry that a knowledgeable economist or teacher or scientist might turn out not to be a sparkling "on air personality." They'll deliver familiar talking points, so you know your host and other guests won't be challenged. They'll deliver reliably pro-corporate hard-right content which will serve to "balance" any program where the facts start to have that devious liberal slant.
In simple terms, AEI is an excuse for producers to be lazy. Calling them means that you place a higher value on filling time than providing information. It means ignoring the many connections that the unscholarly "scholars" have to other organizations and corporations. It means not minding that you're balancing progressive views with views that are simply and demonstrably wrong.
Friday, April 03, 2009
"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective," the Supreme Court wrote in its decision. "The Legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."Wow... How long until the US Supreme Court will be challenged with the same issue? Soon, I hope. The haters are not happy...
The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., pastor at the Maple Street Baptist Church in Des Moines, went to the Supreme Court building to hear of the decision.
"It's a perversion and it opens the door to more perversions," Ratliff said. "What's next?"
Can you taste the hate?
You can find a copy of the actual ruling here. (PDF) Iowa has a long history of the enforcement of equality through judicial decision. In 1839, the Iowa courts declared contracts of enslavement were null and void under the concept of equality.
My favorite passage from the ruling (and one that could be applied at the Federal level)
A statute inconsistent with the Iowa Constitution must be declared void, even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion.We are a nation of laws... not a nation of empty faith.
Of course this is from the guy who sat out Viet Nam because he had a boil on his ass... So his obsession with "anal poisoning" may stem from some sort of personal knowledge or experience.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Except of course that she asked for it. And according to a spokesman for the Palace, she loved the gift. But, leave it to the commentators in Wingnuttia to miss the target (again... and again... and again... and again).
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Veteran talk radio host Ed Schultz joins MSNBC as host of "The Ed Show," premiering on Monday, April 6. "The Ed Show" will air weekdays, 6-7 p.m. ET. The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President, MSNBC.Awesome news!
"I am thrilled to have Ed kicking-off our primetime lineup," said Griffin. "Ed's proven that he can connect with Americans and will be a perfect compliment to Chris, Keith, and Rachel. He's already made his mark on radio and I'm excited to see what he'll do with the 6 p.m. hour."
"I'm excited to have this opportunity with MSNBC," said Schultz. "I look forward to having a day to day discussion with fellow Americans on issues that really matter to all of us."