February 20, 2009 archive

U.S. Ambassadorships and Obama’s Big Campaign Donors


For all the money small donors brought to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, I doubt a small donor’s name will ever be floated for an ambassadorship. Small money donors are not rewarded with access or ambassadorships.

The Washington Post is reporting Louis Susman, a “mega-fundraiser” for Obama, may get “primo” ambassador job. Susman, “who gave and bundled some major bucks” for Obama’s campaign is likely to be nominated as the next U.S Ambassador to the United Kingdom, pending the outcome of “negotiations”.

What makes Susman qualified to represent our nation to one of America’s closest allies? First, he raises gobs of money for Democratic candidates! Last year alone, he contributed $118,187 to 36 different candidates or political action committees.

In 2004, Susman helped raise $247 million for John Kerry. “Susman was an early backer of Obama’s — getting on board even before Obama declared his candidacy in early 2007 — and was one of the campaign’s biggest bundlers.”

Four at Four

  1. The LA Times reports President Barack Obama, with stimulus underway, warns mayors about waste. Obama told U.S. mayors that he will use the “full power” of the White House to expose fraud or misuse of economic stimuls money.

    “If a federal agency proposes a project that will waste that money, I will not hesitate to call them out on it and put a stop to it,” Obama told the mayors, who were gathered in the White House. “And I want everybody here to be on notice … if a local government does the same. I will call them out on it and use the full power of my office and our administration to stop it.”

    Meanwhile the NY Times reports Obama bans budget gimmicks Bush used. “For his first annual budget next week, President Obama has banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller. The price of more honest bookkeeping: A budget that is $2.7 trillion deeper in the red over the next decade than it would otherwise appear, according to administration officials.”

    Obama will budget for the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare reimbursements, and natural disaster response. Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the Obama Obama administration will put the country on “a sustainable fiscal course” by the end of 2012.

Four at Four continues with the SEC may look at corporate boards, China on a natural resource buying spree, and trouble in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Great Unravelling: Leahy Takes TC Case to Time Magazine

And states it well.

So what is to be done about the abuses of the Bush years? Some say do nothing, and a few Senators even tried to make Attorney General Eric Holder promise in his confirmation hearings to launch no prosecutions for Bush-era lawbreaking. At the opposite end of the spectrum, others say that even if it takes many years and divides the country and distracts from the urgent priority of fixing the economy, we must prosecute Bush Administration officials to lay down a marker. The courts are already considering congressional subpoenas that were issued earlier as well as claims of privilege and legal immunities. Those cases will stretch out for some time, as would prosecutions–taking even a decade or longer. Moreover, it is easier for prosecutors to net those far down the ladder than those at the top, who set the tone and the policies.

There is another option, a middle ground whose overarching goal is to find the truth: we need to get to the bottom of what happened–and why–to make sure it never happens again.

I would love to ask Leahy were he pulled the “taking even a decade or longer” idea out of, though. I find that a little …ahem…prejudicial…in arguing his case.

Another slight problem…

One path to that goal is to appoint a truth-finding panel. We could develop and authorize a person or group of people universally recognized as fair-minded and without an ax to grind.

Senator, who in the world would the current batch of bi-partisan (hahahahahahaha) Republicans recognize as being fair-minded and without an axe to grind? My guess, Jesus, Santa Claus or Reagan’s zombie corpse. Let me use my crystal ball as to who the Repubs would suggest for the panel. Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay and the RNC employee who just got off scott free for conspiracy ratfucking of the Rhode Island Senate race.

He also asks and answers his own question…

Most of all, we need to see whether the American people are ready to take this path.

In the meantime, Congress will work with the Obama Administration to fix those parts of our government that went off course. But to repair the damage of the past eight years and restore America’s reputation and standing in the world, we should not simply turn the page without being able first to read it. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll showed that more than 60% of Americans agree that investigating the failed national-security policies of the past eight years should be considered.

I hope he is listening to himself!

There is also a really really good article in the Washington Independent that lays out both sides well, I have bookmarked it for future reference when talking to folks who may not be up to speed on the complex ins and outs. It seems to be pretty balanced, here is part of the section rebutting the idea of a TC.

Truth Commission Talk Sparks Conflict

But that “middle ground,” as he called it, may be problematic. Many legal experts believe that eschewing prosecution is not an option: criminal prosecution is required under international law.

“The only reason to have a commission of this kind is to avoid doing what we’re obligated to do under a treaty,” George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC last week. “It is shameful that we would be calling for this type of commission,” he added. “We’re obligated to investigate. It’s not up to President Obama. It’s not up to Sen. Leahy.”

Margaret Satterthwaite, director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law, agrees. “Under the [international] torture convention we are obligated to investigate and then prosecute where there’s evidence of torture,” she said.

Other articles of note…

The doings in the UK:

Publish secret ‘torture’ documents, MPs tell Obama

And the latest from Sen. Whitehouse

WWL Radio Week 7 tonite at 6 Eastern

Tonight, for your listening pleasure, we will be hosting WWL without pants!

The guys sure look silly in skirts, though.

Seriously, we will air at 6 PM Eastern Time on Blog Talk Radio.

Ed Encho, Gottlieb and I will be covering various current events; then spending some enjoyable scathing commentary on the Douchebag Mouth-breathers of the Neo Con Bobbing Head Nation.

Is Rove getting a “pass”?

How did Afghanistan get to be Obama’s war anyway, speaking of which, he gets his one month review.

The Poison if Bipartisan-sinking-ship.

World response to the American drain-al flush of their economies, as well as our simpering response to our economic hell at home.

Late breaking news included as needed….

Followed by a rousing disembowelment of Rush, O’Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, Malkin, Beck and Michael Savage. What could be more enjoyable than THAT????

The call in number is 646-929-1264

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

The live chat link will be active after 5:30.


“See” you there!!!!

America Still Living Under a “Republican Justice” Paradigm

Two articles from Raw Story today paint the picture. A picture of justice not determined by facts, but by political orientation, class, and influence.

Let us compare and contrast.

Criminalizing dissent? RNC protesters face felony terrorism charges is a short blurb mainly pointing to an interview between Amy Goodman and ….

Luce Guillen-Givins who is one of the first people ever to be charged under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal PATRIOT Act. Guillen-Givins and 7 other members of the group RNC Welcoming Committee – also known as the “RNC 8” – were formally charged with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism.

However, criminal complaints filed reportedly do not allege that members of the RNC 8 personally engaged in any act of violence or damage to property.

From the interview…

AMY GOODMAN: And what are you exactly charged with?

LUCE GUILLEN-GIVINS: I have four felony counts that I’m facing: conspiracy to commit a riot in furtherance of terrorism, conspiracy to commit riot, conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property in furtherance of terrorism, and conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property.

AMY GOODMAN: Luce, what were you doing at the Republican convention?

LUCE GUILLEN-GIVINS: Well, at the convention, I was in jail. I had been in jail since the Saturday before.

Just to state it plainly, he is facing charges of being a terrorist….for a political protest, in the United States of America. I think it is safe to say that Luce Guillen-Givins is not a Republican.

But from the IOKIYAR side of the two tiered justice system….

Former RNC director convicted in phone jamming case gets off without penalty

The Republican National Committee employee convicted of a plot to jam the phone banks of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in New Hampshire in 2002 has escaped penalty in his case, after a federal judge ruled that new charges against him could not be brought.

The latest charges against James Tobin, whose at least $722,000 dollars in legal fees were paid for by the Republican National Committee, were nixed by a federal judge on Thursday.

Tobin was convicted in December 2005 by a New Hampshire jury of being part of a conspiracy to jam Democratic phone banks led by Democrats and a nonpartisan firefighters union on Election Day 2002.

A paid political operative of the Republican National Committee, whose dirty tricks (ratfucking to use Segretti’s term) almost undoubtedly affected the Senatorial election in which John Sununu narrowly defeated Democratic Gov. Jeann Sheehean.

Terrorism charges for organizing a political protest.

No legal penalty for being convicted of rigging an Senatorial election. And the Republican National Committee even paid this ratfuckers legal fees. Paid to defend a person who was part of a conspiracy to fix elections in their favor.

We don’t have a justice system, we have a patronage and persecution system.

And just for good measure, the terrorism charges are the result of an FBI mole….and perhaps agent provocateur…who is facing his own criminal charges!

AMY GOODMAN: And, Jordan Kushner, the latest information about an FBI informant within the RNC Welcoming Committee that has just come out?

JORDAN KUSHNER: That’s right. He was an FBI informant and actually was an FBI informant in that Molotov cocktail case, too, although he wasn’t called because of the criminal charges of his own that he’s facing. He was arrested for some violent burglary charges in January, where he broke into someone’s house, assaulted two people. And so, he’s facing felony charges right now in Hennepin County over that. He was the most-he’s the principal informant in the RNC 8 case, the main person they’re relying on to accuse them of planning the destruction of property.


A Case Study of Environmental Controls and Economic Stimulus in Texas

Those nice folks there in Texas need help, America!  And I don’t mean from that awful “porkulus” bill that Mr. Socialism thinks will start stimulatin’ our economy.  Texas has a different pork problem, in that a plague of wild hogs are roamin’ over the land, tearin’ up the crops there and just makin’ a general nuisance of themselves.  Help IS on the way though, because I’m hearin’ that Texas may allow hog-huntin’ from helicopters!  Ooooohhhhh . . . I just felt a tingle go up my leg . . .  

Naturally the liberals are already whinin’ about it, like somebody just told ’em they have to go to church or something.  There is NOTHING to worry about, because the bill’s Republican sponsor, Sid Miller, assures us that:

“You’re not going to have some bubba up there going, ‘Pass me a beer and ammo’ and hunting some hogs,” the legislator said. “We certainly want to do it right.”

Friday Constitutional 16 – Amendments 13 and 14, Slavery And Equal Protection

It is Friday, so it must be time for a Constitutional! Welcome to the 16th of the Dog’s series on the United States Constitution. It is hard to believe that the Dog has been writing about the Constitution for 4 months now, but as the Dog’s Mom said (with infinite and constant repetition) anything worth doing is worth doing correctly (she has a bit of a proper English fetish, the Dog blames the Nuns). If you have not been reading this series or missed any of them, you can find all of the previous ones at the following links:

Sorry, the Dog is still having some technical difficulty with the links to the previous installments in this series, he does promise to resolve it one way or the other by next Friday!  

Ukrainian plane fire in Egypt

An official in Egypt’s aviation authority says fivecrew members of a Ukrainian cargo aircraft have been killed as fire swept through their plane on the tarmac in the southern city of Luxor.  

Burris: IOKIYAR!

Also posted at Kos

Roland Burris spoke to Rod Blagojevich! Name a Politician in Illinois who hasn’t? We all knew he was lying…but in the matter of lies…this was a tiny one.

Heck Bill Clinton lied too and he got Impeached!

George Bush lied….so what.

The difference was, “under oath”!

Bush testified, but not under oath, with no transcripts and with Cheney to help him out.

Burris got videotaped.

Maybe he needs to change parties.

Docudharma Times Friday February 20

New York Post’s Non Apology Apology

Followed By An Attack On Its Critics

Friday’s Headlines:

Housing relief becomes a fence between neighbors

Hamas refuses to free Israeli soldier in return for lifting Gaza blockade

Iran ‘has enough uranium for nuclear weapon’

Anna Politkovskaya trial: Four accused found not guilty

Back to the Futurists: Has the art movement had its day?

Robert Mugabe packs 61 people into Cabinet

Hutu rebels drop guns, return to Rwanda

Commandos target drugs labs where Taleban and mafias reap $100m profits

China protests Christie’s auction in Paris of relics

Mexican Leader Vows to Press Fight Against Cartels

Trouble Trickles From Steep Drop in Oil Prices

Once Flush Global Economies, Energy Projects Stall

By Steven Mufson

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, February 20, 2009; Page A01

The precipitous fall in the price of oil in recent months, while good for consumers, has contributed to the confusion in the global economy, wreaking havoc with the budgets and economies of oil-exporting nations and putting many expensive energy projects on hold.

In Canada, where President Obama visited yesterday, the drop in oil prices has done more to slow development of controversial oil sands projects than the protests of environmental groups, who note that the energy-intensive process of mining those sands contributes to global warming. Executives in the past have said oil must cost $60 to $90 a barrel to justify the investment.

Clinton suggests North Korea’s Kim Jong Il may step down soon

The secretary of State says the U.S. and allies are trying to figure out how to respond to a change of power. Experts fear a new regime could be even more belligerent.

By Paul Richter

February 20, 2009

Reporting from Seoul — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that U.S. officials and allies were scrambling to prepare for the possible departure from power of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, a development she said threatened to increase turbulence in one of the world’s most heavily armed regions.

Arriving in Seoul for security talks, Clinton said persistent signs in the secretive Pyongyang government suggested that a change of leadership might be at hand. She said the South Korean government had been especially concerned about possible developments inside its impoverished northern neighbor.

“Everybody’s trying to read the tea leaves about what’s happening and what’s likely to occur,” Clinton told reporters on her plane during a flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, to Seoul, broaching a topic that has rarely been discussed publicly by U.S. officials.

Clinton said that even a peaceful succession “creates more uncertainty, and it could create conditions that are even more provocative” as the ascendant leadership tries to consolidate power.



U.S. Tries a Trillion-Dollar Key for Locked Lending


Published: February 19, 2009

Credit cards, home equity lines, student loans, car financing: none come cheaply or easily in these credit-tight times. The banks, the refrain goes, just will not lend money.

But it is not simply the banks that are the problem. It is also what lies behind them.

Largely hidden from view is a vast financial system that serves as the banker to the banks. And, like many lenders, this system is in deep trouble. The question is how to fix it.

Most banks no longer hold the loans they make, content to collect interest until the debt comes due. Instead, the loans are bundled into securities that are sold to investors, a process known as securitization.

“Holding On”

Joy’s original thought was that it was a song for mothers of challenged children, particularly single moms, like her. While in the process of getting the music transcribed on the computer in June of ’07, it occurred to her that it also might appeal to the wives and mothers of veterans returning from war with TBI and PTSD.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Blind Eye



reaching out

so rarely

in our direction

Our vision

of equality

includes all

Isn’t that

how it

should be?

Why is there

no reaching out


or otherwise

…but concrete

would be better…

towards this



to the people

in our behalf

would assure us

but seldom

oh, so seldom

reach out

in our direction

The symbols

we have

so often die

like rotten fruit

on the vine

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–December 19, 2008

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