January 15, 2009 archive

Eric Holder Confirmation Afternoon Session Jan 15

The afternoon session has moved from CSPAN3 to CSPAN.

You can watch the hearing live on CSPAN (Windows Media Player)

or through the committee’s Real Player Live Webcast.

Click image to watch the hearing on CSPAN

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This page should load faster than the morning thread.

Let’s thank those who made it happen

I just sent this out to all the people I thought needed to hear my thoughts — give me yours.

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports in its second public ruling in 30 years, the FISA Court rules expansive warrantless wiretapping are legal. The president and Congress has the power to “to wiretap international phone calls and intercept e-mail messages without a specific court order, even when Americans’ private communications may be involved.”

    However, the court “did not directly rule on the legality of the once-secret operation authorized by … Bush between October 2001 and early 2007, which allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the international communications of Americans suspected of ties to terrorists.”

  2. The Guardian reports Sudan fears U.S. military intervention over Darfur. “Sudan’s government is increasingly fearful that the incoming US administration will resort to military intervention to end the six-year-old crisis in Darfur that has killed up to 200,000 people and left 2.7 million homeless, diplomatic sources in Khartoum say.”

    In her Secretary of State confirmation hearing, Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration indicated the U.S. may directly support UNAMID, the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force.

    “We have spoken about other options, no-fly zones, other sanctions and sanctuaries, looking to deploy the Unamid force to try to protect the refugees but also to repel the militias,” Clinton said. Her future boss, President-elect Barack Obama said last April, “I will make ending the genocide in Darfur a priority from day one.”

  3. The Guardian reports Bush urges the U.S. to stake claim to Arctic territory in last-gasp energy grab. In George W. Bush’s last week in office, the White House has issued National Security Presidential Directive 66 asserting the United States “intention to exploit the vast oil and mineral wealth hidden below the Arctic circle by extending its ‘sovereign rights’ over the seabed.”

    The White House urged the U.S. senate to ratify the United Nations’ 1982 Law of the Sea Convention that “allows countries to extend their control of the seabed from 200 miles to up to 350 miles beyond their coastline.”

  4. After having done so much for the Chinese economy and international standing, the LA Times reports George W. Bush remains a popular president.

    Many Chinese credit the Bush administration’s free-trade policies with helping the Chinese economy blossom over the last eight years. They appreciate its efforts to rein in the fiery anti-Beijing rhetoric of former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian. And Bush’s attendance of the opening ceremony of last summer’s Olympics, at a time when many world leaders were urging a boycott because of China’s human rights record, is viewed with deep gratitude.”

From The Frontlines In Oakland: “Don’t Shoot!”

This first hand account can be seen as a supplement to the work here of BentLiberal. It is a firsthand account of the last two weeks by a longtime Oakland resident, crossposted from Fire on the Mountain, which also has some cool photos.

New Year’s Day

On the early morning of January 1, I happened to be in the Emergency Room of Oakland General. Word came in that there had been a disturbance on a Bay Area Rapid Transit train at Fruitvale Station and patients were expected. The first ambulance brought in a guy who had leapt from the platform when BART police stopped a crowded train and started pulling young male “troublemakers” off. His legs were fucked up.

Then the paramedics brought in Oscar Grant. He was still alive and talking. Techs were telling him “Hang in there, hang in there,” as they tried to reinflate the lungs collapsed by a police bullet and to re-transfuse the blood he was losing–fast. His heart rate collapsed and CPR brought him back so he could be wheeled into the Operating Room, but the internal bleeding couldn’t be stanched in the OR, and Oscar Grant died.

There’s one thing I want to highlight here. When Oscar Grant was brought in, he had a deep hole in his back, the entry wound, but on the other side you could actually see the bullet pressing out against the skin of his chest from the inside like a big pimple. It was removed on the spot. (ER personnel don’t often go around fishing out bullets, unless it’s life-threatening–that’s TV stuff–but this one took only a quick incision to remove.) The slug was flattened, completing the picture of someone who had been shot in the back while pressed right up against a very hard, flat surface.

Live Blogging my stream of consciousness….

Yawn stretch scratch coffee, I need coffee….OMG THE HEARINGS!

Hey C-span is working for once!

Leahy finally feeling redeemed for all his hard work in opposing the Bushco Crimes, yay! Too bad he never got anything actually done and shit.

Specter is DEFINITELY a Lizard Person! What an ass what an ass what an ass….

Good for Warner, crossing party lines to endorse! hmmmmmaybe this post- partisan scam that Obama is perpetrating will work!!! Oh yeah it’s not a scam, damn, that would have been a REALLY good scam!

Blah blah blah….mmmm Coffee GOOD!

Holder speaks! Icky, too much God stuff, but oh well….oh wait Civil Rights! Face down George Wallace! RIP Medger. Strokes DOJ employees, good politics!

I should check out other liveblogs..Edger! Downing St! Dkos! Go bloggers!

Holder speaks! More Hey! I am not parsing each word for lies, does that mean I have been suckered? Or does that mean that is it not OBVIOUS as it was with Gonzo et al and so my radar isn’t going off? Turn up radar, don’t get suckered..

Admits he makes mistakes!!!!!! When was the last time a Bushie admitted mistakes, wow!  Will represent The People!!! wow nice to hear at least.




caps lock off….move below fold now  but already….

Shameless, Shameful and Unbelievable

Crossposted from DailyKos.

This is Really Hard to Believe is the name of a new article by Barry Nolan that is now up on the ePluribus Media journal. The title of this diary reflects three things this non-diary diary represents: a shameless plug about a shamefully neglected topic, and the unbelievable stories that Barry encounters at the Battered Mother’s Custody Conference (YouTube link) that was recently held in Albany.

You need to read Barry’s piece. Make the jump for a little more info, a minor rant, and the opportunity to flame me in comments if this diary offends you.

The fact that this topic often fails to receive the attention that it deserves offends me.

Eric Holder Confirmation Morning Session Jan 15

Click image to watch the hearing on CSPAN3

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary Holder Confirmation Hearing has just begun a few minutes ago with Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter making opening comments.

You can watch the hearing live on CSPAN3 (Windows Media Player) or through the committee’s Real Player Live Webcast.

To save time I’ll quote here BarbinMD’s post this morning at DKos:

Holder has the support of the Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee, along with the backing of Orrin Hatch, the endorsement of three former Deputy Attorney Generals, not to mention former Senator John Warner introducing and offering his support at today’s hearing, along with testimony from Louis J. Freeh, the Former Director of the FBI. And while the level of support Holder will enjoy might cramp attempts to delay his confirmation, it certainly won’t stop the Republicans from trying.

Taking the lead in these efforts has been Arlen Specter, who went from not having “taken any position” on Holder, to denouncing him on the Senate floor, comparing him to Alberto “I don’t recall” Gonzales, and Chuck Grassley, who has attempted to tie Holder to the scandal-plagued Rod Blagojevich. Throw in the Republican requests for documents related to Clinton’s impeachment, fund-raising by Al Gore, and the case of Elian Gonzalez, and you can see that the attempt to force Obama “to spend political capital early,” is on.

By all means, every Senator should ask the hard questions, explore the pardon of Marc Rich, or any other areas of concern they may have. But the Republican Senators may want to consider two things: the overwhelming support that Obama enjoys and how the last two elections have worked out for them. If they overplay their hand here, they might find themselves hoisted by their own petard peg.

A complete witness list for today’s hearing is available here.

If anyone watching the hearing has not yet signed the Formal Petition to Attorney General-Designate Eric Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes… please sign it now.

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Open Thread


Bring Thread On!

Docudharma Times Thursday January 15

Bush/Cheney Legacy Tour

Lie Lie Lie

Thursday’s Headlines:

Apple Chief Temporarily Steps Aside

Editor’s Killing Underscores Perils of Reporting in Sri Lanka

Nissan Motor set to post first loss in a decade

In Baghdad, taking the wheel

Civilian casualties: Human rights groups accuse Israelis of war crimes

Europe left to beg and rage as Russian gas row drags on

Putin and the art of power

Zimbabweans detail abduction spree

Zimbabwe cholera surges as neighbours report rising cases

Israel continues offensive in Gaza while truce talks provide optimism

Air and ground assault encircles Gaza City as negotiations in Egypt moot ceasefire proposal

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 15 January 2009 07.55 GMT

Israel kept up its intense air and ground operations in Gaza today, even as the first signs of progress towards a ceasefire emerged from Egyptian-led negotiations.

Israeli forces were reported to be closing in on the outskirts of Gaza City, forcing thousands more Palestinians to flee their homes. Palestinian witnesses said Israeli tanks fired shells at least three high-rise buildings in downtown Gaza City.

It is not clear whether this morning’s offensive marks another major escalation in the conflict or a brief foray – so far Israel has avoided sending grounds troops into the heart of Gaza City.

One in five Guantanamo Bay detainees is on hunger strike

From The Times

January 15, 2009

Tim Reid in Guantanamo Bay

Nearly a fifth of the detainees held at Guantánamo Bay have gone on hunger strike with the aim of attracting the attention of Barack Obama, military officials have told The Times. Most of them are being force-fed.

Of the 248 inmates inside the detention facility, 44 are refusing food – but 33 of those are receiving nutrition with tubes that are forced up their noses and into their stomachs.

On election night, according to one official, news of Mr Obama’s win spread across the prison facility even though no inmates had access to television that evening, and chants of “Obama! Obama! Obama!” erupted throughout the complex.



Bank Losses Complicate U.S. Rescue

Pressure Grows on Obama to Allocate More Money for Distressed Financial Firms

By David Cho, Binyamin Appelbaum and Lori Montgomery

Washington Post Staff Writers

Thursday, January 15, 2009; Page A01

A new wave of bank losses is overwhelming the federal government’s emergency response, as financial firms struggle with the souring U.S. economy, the rapid deterioration of global markets and the unexpectedly high costs of shotgun mergers arranged by federal officials last year.

The problems are intensifying the pressure on the incoming Obama administration to allocate more of the $700 billion rescue program to financial firms even as Democratic leaders have urged more help for distressed homeowners, small businesses and municipalities. Senior Federal Reserve officials said this week that the bulk of the money should go to banks.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Flicker of Hope

Choice of Methods


we speak up

or more

challenge the darkness

force it away

manhandle it

back to its origin

Or we can

light a candle

hold it high

for those

who wish to see

and hold it long

in the hopes

it will be noticed


by those who don’t

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–April 25, 2008

UAW accepts government ban on strikes

Original article, by Jerry White, via World Socialist Web Site:

It has come to light that the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler approved last month by the Bush administration with the support of the incoming Obama administration includes a stipulation that effectively bans strikes or work stoppages by autoworkers.

Late Night Karaoke

Nikai Thursday

Aerosmith Dream On

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