May 2009 archive

Deep Game — Help me Out Here

I’ve read about this before but never read a better explanation of this notion than I did last night in Meteor Blades’ diary, What Matters Isn’t the Photos, It’s the Torture.

And before I quote this comment, I’d like to ask that those reading this consider it as if it were true, whether it is or not.  Yeah, good luck to me, lol.

The comment is from dengre, and I’m blockquoting three comments in this thread (emphasis mine):

It is about the torture

and the rule of law. It is also about tactics to get to justice. Many do not agree with the tactics that the Obama Administration have been using. They would prefer something like a Pickets Charge on the issue as oppose to a more subtle and comprehensive legal strategy. I prefer the latter and that is what I think President Obmaba is doing.

One issue of concern is the Obama Administration filing legal briefs to continue Bush Administration arguments about various issues. If they did not do that then the Bush view would loose[sic] in Court, but it would be a loss based on withdrawal and the very dangerous legal theories of the Bush era–like the Unitary Executive–would never have their day in Court and would not face complete repudiation.  And so I think these cases need to be pushed forward as a tactic to take on the worst legal ideas of the Bush years. We need to know which of these ideas the Supreme Court would uphold so that Legislative restrictions (and/or a Constitutional Amendment) can be crafted to make sure that we never again have a Co-Presidency like Bush-Cheney ever again. Torture is just another symptom of that disease.

(this reply by joanneleon)

That would be a smart and honest strategy

if this is indeed what they are doing.  But why could they not be more honest about such a strategy?  It would give people a lot less to worry about.  For instance, Greenwald is pretty good at interpreting what is going on and I don’t think he has offered this as a plausible scenario, though I could be wrong and may have missed such an analysis.

(dengre’s response)

I think Greenwald argues tactics

and that he favors a frontal assault on First Amendment Issues and has concerns about allowing a mostly Republican appointed SCOTUS deciding the issue. I think he has a very healthy distrust of power. He is a passionate advocate for a set of tactics to deal with the issue, but I think he sees some of the symptoms like torture or individual legal fights as the most important and urgent issue. It seems to me that President Obama sees the twisted legal theories of the Bush/Cheney years as the core problems–as the disease.

As a result I think they have both embraced different tactics and that these tactics are–from time to time–at odds with each other.

This is an “Eyes on the Prize” fight. And victory (IMHO) is the complete destruction of the perverted views of power that were the foundation of the Bush/Cheney years.

My two cents for whatever it is worth.

So this is what I want to discuss.  Join me beneath the fold if you’re interested.

The Snake

(crossposted from CobaltVA)

With the Virginia Democratic primary one week from this Tuesday, I want first to serve notice that, regardless of its outcome, folks shouldn’t look for apologies from me for my conduct, ‘cuz there ain’t gonna be none.

Huffington Post:

One person who typifies all that was wrong with the Democratic Party over the previous decade was former DNC Chairman — and big money fundraiser — Terry McAuliffe. Under his leadership, the DNC atrophied after the 2000 elections and suffered through one of its most disastrous runs in a generation (2001-2005) when it gave President Bush a majority in both houses of Congress (handing back the Senate to the GOP in 2002), lost ground in the state houses, and wholly failed to push back on the Bush-Cheney war machine.

More below the fold…including bribery. Was it justifiable in that instance?

Or, might some say:

Whoa. McAuliffe was “concerned” that Nader would “cost John Kerry the election as he did Al Gore.” So that justifies election tampering and attempted bribery?

I’ll leave that up to you.


Docudharma Times Saturday May 30

Lies Damn Lies

The GOP’s New Mantra

Saturday’s Headlines:

Tentative Deal for G.M.’s Opel Is Latest Shift for Industry

UN calls for inquiry on ‘unacceptably high’ civilian death toll in Sri Lanka

Angry crowd turns on South Korean leader at funeral of predecessor Roh Moo Hyun

Iran’s alternative election campaigns

Threat of the ‘thought police’ alarms Israel’s Arab minority

Why ‘Red Rosa’s’ fans got the wrong grave

Hamburg rebrands itself as Beatles City

Climate change huge challenge for Africa-minister

‘Aló Presidente,’ Are You Still Talking?

Gates draws the line on North Korea’s nuclear program: No proliferation

The Defense chief says the Obama administration does not consider the nuclear program a direct threat, but he forcefully warns the regime against transferring nuclear material abroad.

By Julian E. Barnes

May 30, 2009

Reporting from Singapore — U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates promised today to hold North Korea accountable for selling or transferring nuclear material outside its borders, providing the first clear expression of the Obama administration’s thinking on a vexing foreign policy challenge.

A succession of U.S. presidents have tried to persuade the reclusive government to give up its nuclear arms, and Gates made it clear that President Obama was open to using diplomacy to end the threat.But he also drew a distinction between the danger posed by a North Korea that possessed nuclear weapons and one that sold them to other countries or groups. Spreading its nuclear technology would invite the swiftest and most forceful U.S. response, he said.

North Korea’s nuclear test puts China in a tight spot

Decades after border town Dandong was rocked by the Korean war, Beijing is witnessing rising tensions with its troubled neighbour

Tania Branigan, Friday 29 May 2009 22.09 BST

Grandfather Li sat by the Yalu river, feeding ice-cream to the little girl on his lap and gazing across to the desolate factories of Sinuiju, North Korea.

“The first day the planes came over we were so scared,” he recalled. He was 10 when the US bombed the nearby bridge to halt Chinese support for its neighbour in the Korean war; a few spans still stand as evidence of the raids.

“When the war ended [in 1953], we were very happy, a bit proud for helping them – and relieved.”

It has been decades since American bombs rocked Dandong, the main crossing on the 800-mile Chinese-North Korean border. But this week another explosion shook China and the new threat is from its old ally. North Korea’s nuclear test has raised tensions throughout the region – and increased pressure on China to rein in its neighbour.


Congress’s Afterthought, Wall Street’s Trillion Dollars

Fed’s Bailout Authority Sat Unused Since 1991

By Binyamin Appelbaum and Neil Irwin

Washington Post Staff Writers

Saturday, May 30, 2009

On the day before Thanksgiving in 1991, the U.S. Senate voted to vastly expand the emergency powers of the Federal Reserve.

Almost no one noticed.

The critical language was contained in a single, somewhat inscrutable sentence, and the only public explanation was offered during a final debate that began with a reminder that senators had airplanes to catch. Yet, in removing a long-standing prohibition on loans that supported financial speculation, the provision effectively allowed the Fed for the first time to lend money to Wall Street during a crisis.

That authority, which sat unused for more than 16 years, now provides the legal basis for the Fed’s unprecedented efforts to rescue the financial system.

On Torture And War Crimes, Part Two, Or, Dr. Addicott And I Find Common Ground

When last we met, Gentle Reader, it was to work through a series of legal precedents and statute law; the goal of the exercise being to determine if we could or could not define waterboarding as torture.

We have the kind assistance of Professor Jeffrey Addicott, who has provided us with his written testimony from his recent appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee and a personal interview, where he walked me through some of his thinking on the matter.

Today we’re going to take a look at the precedent that he has used to reach the conclusion that waterboarding is not torture.

It’s also possible that the analysis may result in the discovery of a bit of common ground…but as I noted in Part One, it’s common ground that neither one of us might have seen coming.

Late Night Karaoke

Anime And Music

Their Just Deserts

(Crossposted at The Daily Kos)

hey spent their years content to keep key constituents dumb.  

It is their nightmare right now because of that.

They spent their years lying their gums off just so they could easily become part of the corrupt elite.

It is their nightmare right now because of that.

They spent all their time selling out their race for their own personal game, facilitating in the spread of agendas that have placed the country in the mess we’re in while they live lavishly away in their dishonesty.

It is their nightmare right now because of that

And now, Alex Castellanos, Leslie Sanchez, Danny Diaz, and all those Hispanic TV strategists that have helped carry the Sad Obnoxious Party’s water are getting what they deserve right now.


The R is for Racism

     White people are not allowed to bitch about reverse racism. Period.

    Rich people do not get to complain about being oppressed, either.

    And I do not know which stupidity is more insulting to the intellect, Newt Gingrich twittering about reverse racism and his own wealthy white male people’s plight against oppression while he tours the death chambers of (Oy Gavult) Auschwitz, or using a Martin Luther King Jr quote to begin an e-mail that paints a latino woman as an-anti white racist with a superiority complex.

    The reality is that the GOP prefers minorities who know and act as if they were inferior. The empathy/reverse racism meme simply means that the only empathy allowed is for wealthy people and corporations, and the only racism allowed by the GOP is their own.

    The Republican party has been reduced to projecting the things that it fears will be used against themselves at their enemies. The GOP has failed on every level. They have no ideas and they aren’t even trying to find new ones. Instead, the repackage the same shit we have been force fed for the last 40 years.

    That is until recently, when the GOP and the Corporate Oligarch started taking pages from 1859 Virginia.

    Elitist, fascist and Un-American have been thrown around lately, and even then it is hard to swallow, but this whole Racism meme over Sonia Sotomayor takes the cake.

    The battle plan is divide and conquer. This is class war, after all.    


Liberal/Conservative Disconnect: Evolution & Free Markets

There is a major disconnect between liberals and conservatives.

Liberals believe (mostly) in the science of evolution, but reject unrestrained capitalism.

Conservatives tend to exalt unrestrained capitalism, but reject evolution.

These are core philosophical antagonisms; and, of course, they are inconsistent with one another.  In both cases, unrestrained competition is viewed as good/bad.  

Why is Natural Selection lauded, but capitalism rejected, and vice versa, by the respective sides?

I have some thoughts, but will hold off on expressing them for now.

Have at it.


Yay! My husband brought me b1rthd4y b33r!

And see what happens when there is b1rthd4y b33r? See? Beware the b1rthd4y b33r!!!

Random Japan

Welcome back to the grind…

More than 350,000 commuters were delayed-and many were forced to walk down a stretch of tracks in the rain-when a brake malfunctioned on a JR Yokosuka line train on the first day after the Golden Week break.

Roughly 1,500 people joined a protest against pluthermal nuclear power in Saga Prefecture, forming a human banner that read “NO MOX.”

A group of earth-lovers protesting a dam project in Aichi Prefecture carried their canoes through the streets of Nagoya.

The Wall Street Journal announced plans to launch a Japanese website by the end of the year.

Time magazine named Japanese Nobel Prize-winning physicist Yoichiro Nambu one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Writer Eriko Momose has crowned the term “mother harassment” to describe moms who get reamed out for putting their children in daycare; letting their kids get low grades; or allowing their children ride the train alone.

It was reported that a group of Japanese hikers have taken to going on nocturnal strolls through forests and urban areas. Seems they feel the darkness “sharpens the other senses, heightening… sounds and smells.” Watch out for that cliff…

Even with Swine Flu-itis sweeping the nation, the Mini Buta Derby went ahead as planned in Mie Prefecture. Participants chased 3-month-old piglets down a 100-meter track.

A deputy police chief in Aichi Prefecture who headed up a task force promoting traffic safety was busted for driving drunk.

breaking: Judas was framed: Simon Peter did it

“Out of Egypt I will call my son,” says the prophet, so Mary and Joseph, in Matthew, make a detour to Egypt.

“Born of a virgin,” Matthew reads in the Greek translation of the scripture, so he invents virgin birth. If he had been able to read the original Hebrew, he would have realize the word was not virgin. Whoops!

Christianity doesn’t make any sense. Now, onto the evidence recently recovered from the sands of Egypt which definitively prove the innocence of Judas Iscariot…

So many issues, so little space

The Sotomayor nomination.  Conservative radio host asks, “what happened to the TRUTH?”  General Petreaus says, “We violated the Geneva Conventions.”  A black off-duty NYPD officer is killed by another NYPD officer.

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