May 19, 2009 archive

Four at Four

  1. The CS Monitor reports in order To meet the June deadline, the U.S. and Iraqis redraw city borders.

    On a map of Baghdad, the US Army’s Forward Operating Base Falcon is clearly within city limits.

    Except that Iraqi and American military officials have decided it’s not. As the June 30 deadline for US soldiers to be out of Iraqi cities approaches, there are no plans to relocate the roughly 3,000 American troops who help maintain security in south Baghdad along what were the fault lines in the sectarian war.

    “We and the Iraqis decided it wasn’t in the city,” says a US military official.

    See problem solved! Just wait until 2011 when the U.S. and Iraqis redraw the borders of Iraq so American troops can remain. “If our long-term goal is strategic partnership in Iraq, I would suspect beyond 2011 we would have some kind of long-term presence here,” a senior US commander said.

  2. The Washington Post reports Missile defense in Europe is ineffective a scam. A joint analysis done by a team of top U.S. and Russian scientists have found the planned missile shield in Europe “would be ineffective against the kinds of missiles Iran is likely to deploy”. Not only is Iran more than five years away from building any such missile and nuclear warhead that could threatten Europe, “if Iran attempted such an attack, the experts say, it would ensure its own destruction.” Duh.

    “If Iran were to build a nuclear-capable missile that could strike Europe, the defense shield proposed by the United States ‘could not engage that missile,’ the report says. The missile interceptors could also be easily fooled by decoys and other simple countermeasures, the report concludes.”

Four at Four continues with an update from Pakistan and an overhaul of federal emissions and fuel efficiency standards.

We tortured and it’s illegal.

(Cross posted from over at teh kos)

“But it’s enhanced interrogation…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But investigations would be a witch-hunt…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But prosecutions of Republicans would be bad politically…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But most Americans don’t support torture investigations…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But Pelosi lied…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But the CIA SAYS Pelosi lied…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But Democrats knew too…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But the lawyers were just giving legal opinions…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But the Bush administration really thought they were protecting America…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But a ticking time bomb…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But it would be bad for terrorists to know our tactics…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But President Obama is unAme-”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But John McCain doesn’t think we should prosecute and he was tortured.”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But how bad were these techniques really?”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But they’re terrorists…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But dunking them in the water…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But prosecuting a policy decision…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But Democrats and Republicans BOTH…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But this might get some high ranking people currently serving in trouble in both parties.”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

It’s illegal. It’s torture. It’s not allowed. We prosecute torturers.


My name is Inky99 and I am banned at Dailykos

I was banned at Dailykos a couple of days ago, for writing two-in-a-row recommended diarires, one which pointed out how much of the 9/11 Commission Report’s “information” was obtained through torture and which is therefore completely unreliable, and the other about an upcoming book written by a Commission Report insider in which he claims that the entire Report is “almost entirely untrue”.

Hoisting Luntz By His Own Petard

A week or so ago, as noted in this story and a few diaries, Frank Luntz, the other side’s wannabe equivalent to George Lakoff (apologies in advance to George, who is sincere in his efforts to make us effective speakers, unlike Dr. Luntz, who is a whore), published a talking points manifesto.  It is intended for those who – lacking any actual plan or constructive suggestion regarding healthcare – ceaselessly bloviate on the topic nonetheless, and to suggest how they might successfully torpedo any honest efforts at fixing our healthcare mess.  It is essentially a talking points manual for the talking heads of the Party of No on how to kill healthcare reform.

I would love to be searingly derisive of this effort, but there is much that can be learned from it which, no doubt contrary to Dr. Luntz’s intentions, can be used to sabotage the saboteurs.  Let me clarify that my healthcare reform may not be your’s.  I am a universal single-payer advocate.  But it is likely that our mutual truths are informed by this examination and commentary.

Let the fun begin!

(cross posted on the DailyKos)

This is NOT a Time For Moderation

Unless you are the President.

But for the rest of us….This is NOT a Time For Moderation!!!


LOL, there I go being a Shrill Liberal again, dammit. There I go Yelling for Change again. Why….it is almost as though I thought that this was a key point in world history and the history of our nation or something!

]Simulposted at Daily Kos ]

Oh wait….it is.


Which is why a democratic president must appear to be calm, cool, collected and competent. Why he must present a clear contrast to the Radical Republiban Insurgents…as they handily destroy themselves. He needs to calm the nations nerves and the nerves of a nervous world while we all…..whether we know it or not…deal with the massive anxieties inherent in being at such a historical turning point. A strong calm hand on the tiller is exactly what is needed right now. Both politically, to complete the defeat of the Radical Right and ensure they don’t come back to power through their favorite medium….fear. and pragmatically….because the Shit IS about to Hit the Fan in so many ways. Obama is actually doing the smart thing, by presenting himself as a Moderate, and believe me, I am no fanboy.

As for the rest of us?

We need to be yelling our fucking heads off!

Simulposted at Daily Kos

Love? I Don’t Need No Steenking Love!

Yeah, that title’s probably not the best sidle-in for a first essay, though I did get my account here more than a year ago. Mostly just a reader, until I got banned from DKos.

No, it wasn’t a 9-11 CT diary. I’ve long known better than to get involved in those, kept my opinions about that to myself. It was just an overview of things viral (i.e., influenza), how vaccine research works – and sometimes doesn’t – with a semi-humorous overtone that indeed was sort of conspiratorial in a Tom Cruise-ish way. I’m an auguste clown… tend to see humor in places the pompous white-face takes way too seriously. Occupational hazard.

More Evidence CIA Briefing Timetable Is Worthless Lies

Well it seems like there is more evidence that Speaker Pelosi for all her failings is not actually complicit in the Bush era State Sponsored Torture program. Zach Roth of the Talking Points Memo Muckraker section has found a former Intel official who points out that the Orwellian euphemism of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” was only coined in 2006 when the Bush administration started to get worried (sensibly) that their war crimes would come back to haunt them. You can find the whole article here.

Myanmar: Release Aung San Suu Kyi

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


Aung San Suu Kyi

Evidently, the military junta running Myanmar (Burma) has decided to make life for Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years, even worse.  Today was the second day of her trial.  The New York Times reports:

New Gallup Polling – Republicans In Bad, Bad Shape!

The Dog has talked about the downward spiral of the Republican party but until yesterday it was all based on gut feeling and perceptions of their actions filtered through a lifetime of political thinking and work. Now Gallup has come out with some data which confirms not just that the Gopasaurs are in trouble but that they are in trouble in every single demographic!  

One Compartmentalization Over The Line, Sweet Jesus

My my, I haven’t seen some of THOSE compartmentalization terms in a while.

What we have here is the cover page of a SecDef high level intelligence briefing

as brought to us by Donald Rumsfeld & Co.

So, if a document is classified NOFORN (No Foreign Nationals),

does that mean that Jesus shouldn’t be reading it? ;-7

G.Q. has the original story (with 10 more pictures), hat tip to Newsday. Note that Christian fundamentalists have made a point of smurfing the (easily hacked) associated poll, but if you really look at the results they’re still outnumbered. Note also that while Newsday had the courage to carry this story, there’s not a whisper of a mention in the NY Times.

The public savaging of Rumsfeld is extremely welcome. He deserves to go down for war crimes and other crimes (there’s a reason I call him “Mr. Aspartame”) but if he’s going to serve as the whipping boy meant to distract us from also bringing Gonzales, Rice, Rove, Cheney and Bush to justice,

THAT shit AIN’T gonna fly.

Docudharma Times Tuesday May 19

To Bad Nobody

Said George Go Home

And He Did

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Labor unions find themselves card-checkmated

Body of Tamil Tigers leader discovered

Japan confirms dozens more swine flu cases

Ethiopia’s new climate of fear

Sudanese rebel leader appears at The Hague on war crimes charges

Rise of Europe’s extreme politics

Crowd roars as Eric Cantona hits back of net at Cannes Film Festival

Netanyahu caught between Obama, Israeli settlers

Iraq Arrests 2 Sunni Leaders, Raising Fears of Violence

Mexico captures drugs hit gang suspects allegedly led by police

U.S. to Expand Immigration Checks to All Local Jails

Obama Administration’s Enforcement Push Could Lead to Sharp Increase in Deportation Cases

By Spencer S. Hsu

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Obama administration is expanding a program initiated by President George W. Bush aimed at checking the immigration status of virtually every person booked into local jails. In four years, the measure could result in a tenfold increase in illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes and identified for deportation, current and former U.S. officials said.

By matching inmates’ fingerprints to federal immigration databases, authorities hope to pinpoint deportable illegal immigrants before they are released from custody. Inmates in federal and state prisons already are screened. But authorities generally lack the time and staff to do the same at local jails, which house up to twice as many illegal immigrants at any time and where inmates come and go more quickly.

China and US held secret talks on climate change deal

• Negotiations began in final months of Bush administration

• Obama could seal accord on cutting emissions by autumn

Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, Monday 18 May 2009 19.03 BST

A high-powered group of senior Republicans and Democrats led two missions to China in the final months of the Bush administration for secret backchannel negotiations aimed at securing a deal on joint US-Chinese action on climate change, the Guardian has learned.

The initiative, involving John Holdren, now the White House science adviser, and others who went on to positions in Barack Obama’s administration, produced a draft agreement in March, barely two months after the Democrat assumed the presidency.

The memorandum of understanding was not signed, but those involved in opening up the channel of communications believe it could provide the foundation for a US-Chinese accord to battle climate change, which could be reached as early as this autumn.


Credit Card Industry Aims to Profit From Sterling Payers


Published: May 18, 2009

Credit cards have long been a very good deal for people who pay their bills on time and in full. Even as card companies imposed punitive fees and penalties on those late with their payments, the best customers racked up cash-back rewards, frequent-flier miles and other perks in recent years.

Now Congress is moving to limit the penalties on riskier borrowers, who have become a prime source of billions of dollars in fee revenue for the industry. And to make up for lost income, the card companies are going after those people with sterling credit.

Banks are expected to look at reviving annual fees, curtailing cash-back and other rewards programs and charging interest immediately on a purchase instead of allowing a grace period of weeks, according to bank officials and trade groups.

Man and the Ducklings

Banker Rescues Darling Ducklings

Armstrong hasn’t played baseball since grade school, but he stepped up to the plate ready to help.  Standing below the ledge, he caught each duckling as they leapt into his waiting hands below.  By the time it was over, a crowd had gathered for the parade.  To the sound of cheers and applause, the mother duck led her ducklings to water……

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