April 12, 2008 archive

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Clashes kill 13 in Baghdad’s Sadr City

By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer

2 hours, 20 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – Shiite militants fought U.S. and Iraqi forces around Baghdad’s Shiite district of Sadr City early Saturday despite a call for calm by anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr following the assassination of one of his top aides.

At least 13 Shiite militants died in the clashes, which erupted Friday night and tapered off early Saturday, the U.S. military said. Iraqi police reported seven civilians were killed as a result of the fighting between U.S and government troops and al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia.

Al-Sadr blamed the Americans and their Iraqi allies for the assassination Friday of one of his top aides, Riyadh al-Nouri, director of his office in the Shiite holy city of Najaf. Gunmen ambushed al-Nouri as he was returning home from Friday prayers.

Depends On What The Definition Of Torture…………..Is

Good Morning America! In the news today….President Bush admits/brags of authorizing torture. Here is the front page of the New York Times. And CNN? Why are they not reporting that the President has committed War Crimes, you ask? Because the entire Bush administration defense of their conspiracy to torture rests on their definition of what torture…..is. Sound familiar?

From ABC

The CIA has confirmed Zubaydah was one of three al Qaeda suspects subjected to waterboarding. After he was waterboarded, officials say Zubaydah gave up valuable information that led to the capture of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad and fellow 9/11 plotter Ramzi bin al-Shibh.

Mohammad, who is known as KSM, was also subjected to waterboarding by the CIA.

In the interview with ABC News Friday, Bush defended the waterboarding technique used against KSM.

“We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it,” Bush said. “And no, I didn’t have any problem at all trying to find out what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed knew.”

In interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson last year, Tenet said: “It was authorized. It was legal, according to the Attorney General of the United States.”

“Why are we talking about this in the White House?” the network quoted Ashcroft as saying during one meeting. “History will not judge this kindly.”

From Raw Story

In one, (memo) dated Aug. 1, 2002, then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee defined torture as covering “only extreme acts” causing pain similar in intensity to that caused by death or organ failure. A second, dated March 14, 2003, justified using harsh tactics on detainees held overseas so long as military interrogators did not specifically intend to torture their captives.

Both legal opinions since have been withdrawn.

From Wikipedias article on the Clinton impeachment:

Clinton denied having a “sexual affair” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. At the deposition, the judge ordered a precise legal definition of the term “sexual relations”  that Clinton claims to have construed to mean only vaginal intercourse. A much-quoted statement from Clinton’s grand jury testimony showed him questioning the precise use of the word “is.” Clinton said, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the-if he-if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not-that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement”

If a co-conspirator gets to define what torture….is. It isn’t torture. Can we please have “the judge order(ed) a precise legal definition of the term “sexual relations” torture.  

Organs…Not Just For Church Music

During my growing up years, I attended church at least 3 times a week. Always associated with church for me was the music. And organs have always been a big part of that. But somewhere in the mid-60’s rock-n-roll bands discovered organs and added them to the traditional instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums. Oftentimes, this combination provided some of the most powerful music of the 60’s. So today, I’d like to take you on a trip down memory lane with the organ.

Throughout I’ll provide wiki links to the songs because each of them was such a breakthrough in music that they are surrounded by intrigue and mythology.

The first is from The Animals and was recorded in 1964. Here’s House of the Rising Sun.

screw this


Big business switches sides w/poll

LANCE SELFA explains that Corporate America is nonpartisan when it comes to protecting its interests.   Original article via Socialistworker.org.

For some strange reason, I’m not sure this is a good thing.

photos from Iraq

I got a notice a couple of days ago about the shortlist for a photography competition. One of the photographers shortlisted has taken some pretty gripping photos of soldiers in the Middle East.

Given the recent Petraeus hearings I thought these were very topical, and deserved wider viewing.

The photographer is Peter van Agtmael. Click here to see his work.

His work can also be found at the  Photolucida web-based photo competition called Critical Mass.

Note I want you to visit his site and so have not copied any images etc.

This was posted earlier at DailyKos and I was encouraged to also post it here by TexasDem.

Hope you find these image illuminating….

Citizen’s Arrest

Citizen’s Arrest – Andy Griffith Show

Hillary’s Support Is Sliding

from the very beginning Hillary has had the women’s vote and it has been her staunchest supports.  But wait! She seems to be losing that part of the electorate, at least in Pennsylvania. Clinton’s strongest core of support – white women – is beginning to erode in Pennsylvania, the site of the critical April 22 Democratic presidential primary, and a loss here could effectively end her White House run.

A Quinnipiac University survey taken April 3-6 in Pennsylvania found that Clinton’s support fell 6 percentage points in a week among white women. Nationally, a Lifetime Networks poll of women found that 26 percent said they liked Clinton less now than in January, while only 15 percent said they liked her more.

But why would she be losing their support?  It is best summed up by a 50 something voter from Pennsylvania, “I do not like the way Hillary Clinton has run her campaign”.  Thjis has got to be a concern to the campaign.  She entered into Pennsylvania with a 17 pt lead over Obama and now she has only a 6 pt or so lead.

I realize that polls are like anuses (?) everyone has one.  But, IMO, if she does not win big in Pennsylvania, then North Carolina and Indiana become make or break.  I really do not see her making it past those, no matter how much bravado she exhibits.

Obama convinced me today

sort of cross posting from the GOS ..

Barack’s statement today about the anger of the people who are not even in his base of support, and more importantly his response to the fawning McCain and Clinton campaigns as they spun to the PA electorate convinced me.

Obama’s ready to stand and fight for what he believes in.

I might not always agree with exactly what it is, that which Barack Obama believes in, but I am sick to death of leaders who will not stand up for what they believe, especially Democrats. What I saw today shows me without a doubt this man has the self determination and pride to stand for what he thinks is right.

I’ve seen enough of the guy to realize he does offer a set of viewpoints that are closer to mine than John McCain’s, easily and he has eclipsed Hillary Clinton because he has cut through the BS, and has let truth speak.

I may not always agree with his viewpoints, it would be too much to ask. But as time has progressed, I have seen the candidate take on challenges and do so directly, and honestly. That’s a mark of a leader, a person who can be trusted to stay true to himself. There’s some sort of personal integrity aspect to Barack Obama I am beginning to like, more and more.

As I told our fellow rabble rousers over in Orangeville, that doesn’t mean I’m hopping on the Bash Hillary and Bill bus.  

Action: Democracy for Zimbabwe

If you are not a member of Avaaz.org you should be. There are on the forefront of the global fight for justice and make it easy to help out in big or small ways.

There latest campaign is about one of the most pressing issues in the world right now. The situation in Zimbabwe. Generally the people on this site are well informed so I will assume you are up to date with what has been happening. Essentially Robert Mugabe’s government has withheld the results of the national elections–and threatens to use violence and fraud to hold on to power. They want immunity for there criminal acts before they hand over power (sound familiar?) but if they don’t get it they are willing to go on with their repressive regime that is crippling the people of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe has resisted international pressure so far–but South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, who is a close freind of Mugabe’s, might listen. A global outcry is needed to ensure that Mbeki knows his status as a global and regional leader is on the line: the world is turning to him to help bring justice for the people of Zimbabwe.

So Avaaz has launched a petition that reads as follows:

Petition to Robert Mugabe, Thabo Mbeki, and world leaders:

We sign to support the democratic and human rights of the people of Zimbabwe. Election results must be released immediately, verified independently, and–if approved as legitimate–accepted by all parties. If a run-off is required, it should be monitored by international observers and be kept free of violence, fraud, and intimidation. World leaders, including South African President Thabo Mbeki, should do all they can to ensure a just result.

We must stand with the people of Zimbabwe. We must take action. So far 88,234 people have signed and they are trying to get to 100,000 or even more. Every voice counts.

Take a stand for justice. Take action.


Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament VI

 Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  Through the Darkest of Nights is a story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption.  It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts.          

All installments are available for reading here on my page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.


Funkalicious Friday: El-l-l-l-l-VI!!!

Elvis has NOT left the building!

In fact the place is fairly crawling with them!

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