May 29, 2009 archive

Overnight Caption Contest

The Economic Priesthood

Recession As Atonement Ritual

Over on the orange rind the other day, Jerome a Paris asked a pertinent question: What’s the responsibility of the media? In that diary a study by the Columbia Journalism Review documents the failures of business/financial media to accurately cover the obvious signs of coming deep recession, warn average investors and business people that it was coming, or advise them on how to protect themselves.

I just happen to be reading – for the umpteenth time, a handful of pages a night – William Greider’s 750-page tome about the switch from Keynesian to Monetarist economic policy during the serious financial fluctuations of the 1970s and ’80s, Secrets of the Temple. The suggestion that the business/economic press owes real information to We the People Who Get Hurt by these stage-managed recessions and booms rang bells per Greider’s explanations of why, exactly, the semi-regular liquidation of the People’s assets and life savings is tolerated in our capitalist economic system – and why the People are kept ignorant of the telltale signs that ‘liquidation’ is coming.

Gibbs, Pentagon “Shoot the Messenger” on Taguba Report of Rape…Updated

Simulposted at Daily Kos

While continuing to passively ignore the crimes that are being reported in those reports. How long can the Obama Administration continue a policy of passivity on the Bush War Crimes?

In 2004, [General] Taguba was assigned to head an investigation into accusations of prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Taguba became known worldwide when the Taguba Report, a classified, internal U.S. Army report on the investigation, was leaked to the public and published to national attention.[2] The report was extremely critical of U.S. Army conduct and found widespread negligence and abuse.

From the Telegraph report today…

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.

Maj Gen Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President’s decision, adding: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.

In light of these truly sensational photos….despite Obama’s now apparently disingenuous statement when he reversed his decision to comply with a court order to release them:

“I want to emphasise that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”

Barack Obama

….Taguba’s descriptions and the implications of their impact are apparently sensational enough to cause his Press Secretary to use the lowest form of propaganda flackery…..impugning the credibility of the source.

He did not even dare directly attack the primary source, General Taguba, but instead resorted to a cheap hacktastic smear attack on the British Press in general…

(Warning: 15 second commercial)

Gibbs does NOT address the charges of rape.

The Medical/Insurance Complex

    HMO’s, Big Pharma and other special interests have made America a place where getting sick equals getting poor for the massive majority of our citizens. While we struggle to pay for prescription medicine and health insurance that does not cover our needs, the wealth CEO’s and their political allies are fighting harder than ever to deny us the most basic of human rights, the right to see a doctor.

    Why? So they can make a bigger profit, of course.      

Cheney’s Crumbling Torture Defense

Why are Dickie and Lizzie overloading the megamedia with their pro-torture campaign? Lizzie explained that Dickie feared he would be prosecuted.  What has happened to scare Dickie?

From day 1, the Bush cabal has relied upon the defense of legal advice of counsel to avoid prosecution. Step 1 was to obtain a legal opinion from OLC to “authorize” torture because its ops carry the force of law within the executive branch.   Bush officials then maintained that torture was “authorized”. Step 2 was enacting a law that advice of legal counsel was a defense to torture charges. But, what happens if the OLC memos do not constitute legal advice of counsel because Bush Team and the torture lawyers rigged the OLC process to render fraudulent opinions? Then the main defense from torture prosecutions is bye bye.  

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